\ ^v\ (K^^vx-V CoHH^V *^^ HISTORY 1 OF KENT COUNTY MARYLAND 1630-1916 By FRED. G. USILTON 154266 A I? * » *•• ID* ''si ^> r* » INTRODUCTION The superintendent of the schools of Kent County, Prof. J. L. Smyth, in his long experience as a teacher and in his present position, feeling the great need of some historical data concerning our home county of Kent and its county town, Chestertown, requested the writer to compile this book, which is here presented to the public. It is hoped that it may, at least, be the foundation, or incentive, for someone to produce a book, with other data dis- covered and other facts recovered from the dim ages of the past. In the completion of this volume, "The History of Kent County, Maryland," we realized the enor- mity of the task when we began. Impressed, how- ever, with the great need of some record in book form of even a few of Kent's historical facts, we have undertaken this work. It is based on a careful study of the means at hand and of persistent effort in exhuming facts contained in books, newspapers and articles by various writers. Among the latter to whom we are indebted are: Percy G. Skirven, who contributed the chapter on the old Court House, Caulk's Field and some P. E. Church his- tory; Hanson's family history, Hon. James Alfred Pearce, files of the Kent News, Mrs. Harriett Hill, Swepson Earle, who furnished us six pictures of old homes, and others whom we regard as authority on the subjects discussed. "There is nothing," says a well-known writer, "that solidifies and strengthens a nation like read- ing the nation's history, whether that history is re- corded in books, or embodied in customs, institu- tions, and monuments." It also is true as regards a count3^ Not to know what has been transacted within our own borders in former times is to be always a child. If no use is made of the labors and happenings of past ages, we must remain always in the infancy of knowledge. Kent, as a county, is rich in precious historical gems, and the object of this book is to present in a clear, connected and authentic manner some of these events. The author has had three chief objects in view^accuracy of statement, siinplicity of style, im- partiality of treatment. . It has been written in the midst of a busy life, but if it shall give to the future generations a rea- son to feel proud of this ^'Garden of Eden," and also preserve the noted events in its life from extinction, then our labor will not be in vain. Frederick G. Usilton. CONTENTS Chapter. Page. 1. Events leading up to the founding of Kent County. 15 2. The Isle of Kent 24 3. The County of Kent 29 4. Tench Tilghman's ride through Kent 38 5. The battle of Caulk's Field 41 6. Burning of Georgetown and story of Kitty Knight. 64 7. Freedom of religious thought and worship — An- cient Shrewsbury 72 8. Old St. Paul's Church, built in 1713 78 9. Emmanuel Protestant Episcopal Church — Where the name originated 85 10. The Friends' Meeting House 88 11. Methodist records — Catholic Church — First Sunday School — Colored Churches 92 12. Schools, public and private — Founding of Washing- ton College 103 13. Records of first sailing vessel and early steamboat- ing on Chester — The first railroad 114 14. Financial institutions and their official boards 123 15. First military organization — Musical organizations 129 16. Kent in the War of 1812-14 138 17. Four United States Senators from Kent — Other notable men 140 18. Old records showing transfers of land in old Kent. 147 19. Some weather records of other days 157 20. Women vote in Still Pond, first place in State 160 21. Some records on the farm 162 22. Old-time Christmas in Kent 169 23. Chestertown — The County Town — Its early history 173 24. "The White House" Farm, on a part of which Ches- tertown stands 179 25. Throwing tea overboard in the Chestertown har- bor — Plays — Racing events — Novel ordinances... 182 26. The noted Chester Bridge — Lovers and fishermen — Some noted events 190 27. Notable houses in Chestertown — Newspapers — First hotels 197 28. Rock Hall — Its early history — Great oyster centre. 205 29. A noted resort — Tolchester Beach — Founded 1877.. 212 30. Fish Hall, Betterton's first house — A lonely place. . 217 31. Shell banks made by Indians — Happy council places 220 32. "Monomac" — An Indian tale 225 33. Some recollections — Old residenters — Kent's silver mine — Vote on local option — A great prize fight — Negro superstition — Crow Hill ZZ9 34. The old Court House " 241 COUNTY OFFICIALS. Circuit Court. Hon. Albert Constable, Chief Judge. Hon. W. H. Adkins, Associate Judge. Hon. p. B. Hopper, Associate Judge. A. Parks Rasin, Clerk. J. Thomas Haddaway, Sheriff; Mark Perkins, deputy. Terms of Court: Third Monday in April and third Mon- day in October for Jury terms. Orphans' Court. John H. Simpers, Chief Judge. Edward A. Scott, Associate Judge. J. Henry Thompson, Associate Judge. OTHER OFFICIALS. Police Justices. R. Hynson Rogers, Chestertown. W. H. Schwatka, Rock Hall. Notaries Public. Colin F. Buyer, Chestertown. Harry C. Coleman, Chestertown. Eben F. Perkins, Chestertown. S. P. TowNSHEND, Chestertown. James W. Crouch, Chestertown. J. Raymond Simpers, Chestertown. J. W. Clark, Still Pond. Justices of Peace. S. E. Burgess, Rock Hall. G. C. Townsend, Millington. J. M. Sutton, Betterton. Vernon M. Barnett, Chestertown. R. C. Morgan, Galena. J. H. Kelly, Still Pond. H. M. Massey, Massey. Register of Wills. Robert R. Hill. L. B. Russell, Jr., Deputy. Treasurer. Howard F. Owens, Ollie Estes, Deputy. History of Kent County, Maryland 9 County Commissioners. Carey W. Reinhart, President. Olin S. Davis, John N. Bennett, T. B. Crew, John C. Wood. Samuel Hicks, Clerk. School Board. John P. Ahern, President. John D. Urie, C. Romie Skirven. Almshouse Board. Harry T. Rash, Henry B. Rasin, Louis E. Smith, M. Wilber Thomas, Thomas W. Trew. State's Attorney. Harrison W. Vickers. TOWN OFFICIALS. Commissioners. William L. Fowler, George R. Rouse, Robert Moffett. R. Groome Parks, Esq., Attorney. Samuel E. Cooper, Day Bailiff. Beverly Hyland, Night Bailiff. U. S. Senators From Maryland. Blair Lee, John Walter Smith. County Representatives in State Legislature. Henry Brown, Senator. Harry Willis, House of Delegates. Herbert Urie, House of Delegates. Coroner. Dr. Prank B. Hines, Chestertown. Member Board of Managers Eastern Shore Hospital. W. W. Beck, Esq., Chestertown. Bureau of Immigration. Harry C. Willis, Chairman, Worton. 10 History of Kent County, Maryland Supervisors of Elections. George R. Rasin, Kennedyville. C. Feaxk Crow, Worton, John C. Davis, Chestertown. W. F, Russell, Jr., Clerk. State Tax Commission. L. W. WicKEs, Member of Board. OwEx C. Smith, Supervisor of Assessments. Lodge Directory. P. O. S. of A. No. 34 meets every Tuesday evening in Fraternal Hall. P. O. S. of A. No. 87 meets every Tuesday evening in Culp Building. Daughters of America No. 58 meet every Monday eve- ning in Fraternal Hall. Jr. O. U. A. M. No. 177 meets every Wednesday in Fra- ternal Hall. Loyal Order of ]Moose No. 1496 meets every Friday night in Westcott Building. Modern Woodmen of America No. 8745 meet second and fourth Friday evenings in Fraternal Hall. Chester Lodge No. 115, A. F. & A. M., meets first and third Wednesday evenings in Lyceum Theatre Building. Red Men meet every Thursday evening in Fraternal Hall. Heptasophs meet first and third Friday evenings of each month in Fraternal Hall. TRANSPORTATION LINES. Train Schedule. Train leaves Chestertown at 7.37 A. M. for Baltimore and Philadelphia, connecting north and south, every day except Sunday. Returning, train reaches here 11.02 A. M. In the afternoon train leaves at 2.53, returning at 7.03 P. M. On Sunday train leaves at 3.55 P. M., returning at 7.28 P. M. Boat Schedule. Boat leaves Chestertown for Baltimore at 7 A. M. Mon- day, Wednesday and Friday, arriving in Baltimore at 1 P. M. Returning, leaves Baltimore at 1 A. M., arriving in Chestertown at 7 on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Auto Lines connect with day boat at Tolchester and with train at Elkton. History of Kent County, Maryland 11 DISTANCES IN KENT. Chestertown to — Worton 5.0 miles. Lynch 6.0 " Kennedyville ._ 8.2 " Still Pond 9.4 " Millington . . . 13.6 " Galena 15.6 " Masseys 17.1 " Georgetown ... 17.1 " Sassafras 20.9 " Chestertown to — Pomona . . . Fairlee .... Crumpton . Chesterville Tolchester . Rock Hall.. Sandtown . Betterton .. 4.0 miles. 6.0 9.0 10.7 11.6 12.4 13.0 12.5 POPULATION OF KENT COUNTY, CENSUS OF 1910. District 1 — Masseys, including Galena and Milling- ton towns 3,342 Galena town 262 Millington town 399 District 2— Kennedyville 2,391 District 3 — Worton or Betterton, including Betterton town 2,041 Betterton town 308 District 4 — Chestertown, including Chestertown 2,941 Chestertown town 2,735 District 5 — Edesville, including Rock Hall town 3,207 Rock Hall town 781 District 6— Fairlee 1,700 District 7 — Pomona 1,335 16,957 The population of Kent County in 1900 was 18,786. ALTITUDES IN KENT. Chestertown 22 feet. Blacks 80 " Still Pond 70 " Masseys 64 " Sassafras 34 feet. Millington 27 " Edesville 24 " Georgetown 5 " ROADS IN KENT. The Kent County Commissioners give the road mileage as follows: First District and Second District, each 120 miles; Third District, 85 miles; Fourth District, 60 miles; Fifth District, 100 miles; total, 480 miles. 12 History of Kent County, Maryland REGISTERED VOTE OF KENT COUNTY, 1915. i Prec. S Q Q i 1 -0 c Q 4>> 6 1 1. 1 . ... 248 131 3 • • • ... 3 272 113 385 2 ... 232 133 • • • • a • 4 6 250 125 375 2. 1 ... 155 130 • • • 4 • • • 1 174 116 290 2 ... 169 143 2 2 198 118 316 3. 1 ... 194 104 1 2 • • • 3 212 92 304 2 ... 135 110 1 • ■ • 1 4 159 92 251 4. 1 ... 232 206 • • • 5 • • • 7 269 181 450 2 ... 210 111 1 3 11 238 98 336 b. J. . . . . . ... 345 95 • • • • • • 5 10 408 47 455 2 ... 254 104 • • • • • • 2 • • • 275 85 360 6 ... 183 231 1 1 • • • • • • 204 212 416 7 ... 148 184 2 2 3 184 155 339 Totals.. 2505 1682 9 17 14 50 2843 1434 4277 TOTAL ASSESSMENT OF PROPERTY IN KENT COUNTY, 1916. Real and Personal, $9,477,889.00. Ordinary Business Corporations, $24,118.69. Bonds and Securities, $501,966.64. KENT COUNTY, MARYLAND BY FRANK H. RUTH, GALENA. With the dawning of creation, when the earth began to roll Through the mazes of countless planets, with the Master in control ; When its broad expanse of verdure turned its face first toward the sun. There was just one little corner that he straight pronounced well done. There the undulating acres spread themselves in vast array, With their sparkling streams of nectar lost in clouds of silver spray ; There the sleepy knoll and dingle were the essence of delight. And the murmur of the breezes crooned the glory of His might. 'Twas a pleasing land ecstatic, just where heaven touched the heath. Where the green and gold of nature intermingled in a wreath Thro' the woodlands bold and stately, where they crowned the verdant shore Of dark meandering rivers now replete with mystic lore. It was just the spot ideal, where the son of man might roam With thrills of wild abandon 'neath the blue empyrean dome ; Where he saw in rich profusion all the earth had to display. In one gorgeous panorama like the charms of Mosellay. 'Twas the masterpiece primeval, of the great creative God ; Once the rendezvoua of angels, when its heather was untrod. "The hidden soul of harmony," where the lotus brewed its spice. In lordly, proud magnificence stood the world's lone paradise. Now that favored land elysian to our* vision yet appears. As the ages turn their pages after twice ten thousand years ; 'Tis the same today as ever — still a land of sweet content. Still the pearl to which man's pleasure has affixed the name of Kent. Ah ! those perfumes so delicious where the living roses blow. Where the moons are more effulgent, where the suns more kindly glow, Where her solitudes will lull you into dreams of Eden's bow'r. And a world of wonders greet you in the cycle of an hour. Yes, she blooms today as ever in her robes of green and gold, Whilst the splendors of her raiment will remain for aye untold ; 'Tis to see this "Isle of Beauty," feel her ozone in your veins. Feel the tingle of enchantment as you scan her fair domain. Then you'll realize what blessings are about you to enjoy, Not a shadow of disquiet to discourage or annoy ; Here you'll see man's art has failed him to enhance one single charm. And the dream of life has centered 'bout "an old Kent County farm." 'Bout her bayous, coves and meadows — -'bout each pebble on her strand — 'Bout the wind scarped bluffs and headlands where the Chester laves her sand. Where the moonglades are idyllic, where the loveleis entrance. Where the whole is an oasis and a perfect necromance. 'Tis the scene of joys exquisite, lulling life's sojourn away. Blissful rhapsodies of pleasure in an endless roundelay Lull the soul to dreamy fancy, into reverie and muse — Oh, ye gods ! what have you better to enthrall man — to enthuse ? Seek sequestered vale and mountain, tread the globe from pole to pole. Not one spot like "Old Kent County" has the charm to reach the soul. 'Tis the bourne at which, men marvel, 'tis the one supremely blest, 'Tis the "fairest of ten thousand" and of God's creation— BEST. \ CHESTER RIVER SCENE, NEAR CHESTERTOWN, MD. History of Kent County, Maryland 15 CHAPTER I. Events Leading Up to the Founding of Kent County. Blood Shed and Dissensions — Claihonie Wins Good Will of Indians — Jealousy of Oicnership Beticeen Virginia and Maryland — The Old Desire For More Territory Plainly Seen. The Virginia colony was jealous of Maryland chiefly for three reasons. First, Maryland had once been a part of the territory of Virginia; secondly, Maryland was ruled bv Catholics, while Virginia was Protestant ; thirdly, the commercial rights and priyileges of Maryland were much greater than those of Virginia. Thus for a time Maryland's sister colon}^ and nearest neighbor unfortunately became her worst enemy. The ^^irginians Ayere represented by William Claiborne, their Secretary of State. This man, not unjustly called the eyil genius of Maryland, was the prime moyer of mischief from first to last, and deyoted all the energies of his un- usually determined and perseyeriug nature to the task of ruining the Maryland colon A^ For twenty Axars his influence seriously affected Maryland his- tory, and more than once nearly brought about the colonA^'s destruction. Claiborne's opportunity came in the following manner. Coming oyer to Virginia in 1G21 as sur- veyor, his force of character brought him rapidly into notice, and at the time of the settlement on the St. Mary's he was Secretary of State for Virginia 16 History of Kent County, Maryland and a member of the Governor's Council. He began to engage to some extent in the fur trade with the Indians. In this he was so successful as to induce a firm of London merchants to employ him, as a special agent or partner in the business of trading with the Indians. Claiborne then established a post on Kent Island, in the Chesapeake Bay, for this purpose, and obtained licenses to trade; but he did not secure any grant of land. A few dwellings were erected, which were paid for by the London merchants, Cloberry and Company. To complete the claim of Virginia, it should be noted also that Palmer's Island had been occupied by traders, and trading expeditions had been conducted by Henry Fleet, John Pory, and possibly other Virginians. The Maryland charter spoke of the country as ^'hitherto uncultivated" ; but this was descriptive merely, and not a condition of the grant, and if it had been, the traders had not settled or cultivated the country. The instructions of the proprietary regarding Claiborne were very generous. Acting according to these instructions. Governor Calvert notified Clai- borne that his post was within the limits of Mary- land. He was given to understand that he would be welcome to the land he had occupied, but that he must acknowledge the authority of Lord Balti- more, and hold the land from him and not from Virginia. Claiborne, on receiving this notice, asked the Virginia Council what he should do. Their answer was, that they wondered at his asking such a question ; could there be any more reason for giv- ing up Kent Island than any other part of Virginia? History of Kent County, Maryland 17 Thus Claiborne made his OAvn cause and that of Virginia one, and feeling sure of support now, he returned an answer to Governor Calvert in which he utterly refused to acknowledge the authority of Maryland and Lord Baltimore. The Dispute Leads to Bloodshed, The proprietary's instructions i)rovided that if Claiborne should refuse to acknowledge the jurisdic- tion of Marvland, he was to be undisturbed for a year. But trouble soon arose. The Indians, hitherto so friendly and sociable, became cold and reserved — a change which alarmed the people greatly. On investigation, Claiborne was charged with telling lies to the Indians for the purpose of stirring them up against the Marylanders, but in justice it must be said that when the Indians were questioned in his presence they declaimed that he had never done anything to prejudice them against the people of Maryland. But there was trouble of a more serious nature when a vessel of Claiborne's, under the command of Thomas Smith, was seized in the Patuxent river for trading without a license in Maryland waters. In return, Claiborne fitted out an armed vessel, the Cockatrice, under the command of Lieutenant Ratcliffe Warren, which he sent out with orders to capture any Maryland vessel that might be met. When news of these mighty doings came to the ears of Governor Calvert, he promptly armed and sent out two vessels, the St. Mar- garet and the St. Helen, under the command of Captain Thomas Cornwallis. "The two expeditions 18 History of Kent County, Maryland met at the mouth of the Pocomoke on April 23d, and then and there was fought the first naval battle on the inland waters of America." Several men were killed and wounded on both sides, Lieutenant War- ren being among the killed, and the Cockatrice sur- rendered. A second fight took place a few days later, in which Thomas Smith commanded the vessel of Claiborne, resulting in more bloodshed. The Capture of Kent Island. For a time Claiborne remained in undisturbed possession of Kent Island. But his afi'airs presently took on a different color, for his London partners, Cloberr}^ and Company, became dissatisfied with his management, and sent out an agent named George Evelin to take charge of their propert3\ Claiborne tried hard to induce Evelin to promise not to give up the island to the Marylanders, but could not suc- ceed. He then went to England and engaged in a lawsuit with the London merchants who had em- ployed him. Evelin went to St. Mary's, after a time, and there he heard the other side of the story, and was fullv convinced of the riffht of Marvland's claim to the island. On his return, he called the people together and explained the situation to them, and Lord Baltimore's authority was recognized. Gov- ernor Calvert then appointed Evelin commander of the island. But the matter was not vet settled. A number of persons were arrested for debts owed to Cloberry and Companj^, and Thomas Smith (the same who had already taken part against the Marylanders) and John Butler (a brother-in-law of Claiborne) used History of Kent County, Maryland 19 every opportunity to stir up dissatisfaction. The matter finally amounted to a rebellion, and Governor Calvert, after several warnings, proceeded to the island himself, with a body of armed men, to offer a little more forcible persuasion. The attack was a complete surprise, and Smith and Butler were captured. The Maryland flag was first used in this battle and was known as Baltimore's flag. The Governor then offered to pardon all others who would come in at once and submit themselves to the government of Maryland, ^'whereupon," says Gover- nor Calvert, in a letter to his brother, the proprie- tary, "the whole ileand came in and submitted them- selves." Smith was tried before the Assemblv on charges of piracy and murder, was convicted and sentenced to death; Butler, not being accused of crimes so serious, and having shown a better dispo- sition, was pardoned by the Governor and afterward came to hold office in the province. In England the final blow was now struck against the cause of Claiborne. The quarrel over Kent Island had been referred to the Board of Commis- sioners for the Plantations (a body having charge of colonial affairs), and they decided that as Lord Baltimore had a grant from the King of England, while Claiborne had merely a trading license, the title was undoubtedly with the former. This was due to the fact that Virginia had forfeited its rights to all territory and it was within the King's right to grant to whomsoever he chose any part of the land that had been within the Virginia Company's jurisdiction. 20 History of Kent County, Maryland Claiborne refused to submit to the Lord's Pro- prietary's demand, and in September, 1634, he was forced to withdraAV, and fled to Virginia ; he was attainted and his property confiscated. GoYernor Harvey refused to surrender him to the authorities of Maryland or to protect him, but, under the pre- tense of high respect for the King's license, sent him to England, with the witnesses, to await the royal pleasure. Claiborne never forgot or forgave this conduct of the authorities of Virginia, and brought it bitterly to their remembrance in 1652. Claiborne went to England a bitter, vindictive and unrelenting enemy to the Lord Proprietary. He petitioned the King for a confirmation of his former license to trade, for a grant of other lands adjoining Kent Island, and the power to govern them. The King, influenced by Sir William Alex- ander, his Secretary for Scotland, and one of Clai- borne's associates in the license, issued the order. The matter was finally adjudicated, in April, 1638, and determined "that the right to all the territory, within which Claiborne's settlements were made, was vested in Lord Baltimore." The next year, as an humble supplicant, he begged of the Governor and Council of Maryland the resti- tution of his confiscated property. This was sternly and harshly denied. Failing in this, in 1644, he instigated the Indians to make war upon the colony. As soon as peace was restored to the afflicted people, he associated himself with Kichard Ingle, a pro- claimed "traitor to the King," excited and led a re- bellion against the Proprietary's government, and actually drove the Governor out of the colony. For History of Kent County, Maryland 21 more than a year lie held possession of the govern- ment, during which time valuable records of the province were lost or destroyed. The Governor, Leonard Calvert, did not long sur- vive his restoration. He died at St. Mary's the 9th day of June, 1047. Among his last acts, and pe- culiarly interesting to us, Avas the reconstruction of the government of Kent Island. After this, when King Charles had been beheaded (30th January, 1G19), and the Commonwealth was established, the irrepressible Claiborne, with Fuller and others, was commissioned, in September, 1G51, by Cromwell's Council of State, to subjugate the province whence he had been lately driven as a rebel. They were empowered ''to reduce and govern the colonies within the Chesapeake Bay." Here was a fine and open field for Claiborne to glut his ven- geance, and he was swift to avail himself of the opportunity. Never did a towering hawk more eagerly swoop upon a poor, mousing owl than did Claiborne, straight as an arrow from a bow, seek and find his quarry. He paid his respects first to Virginia — performed his agreeable task of "reduc- tion" neatly, cleanly and expeditiously. Then, like a falcon, he plumed his feathers, and in March, 1652, borne upon the wings of the wind, pounced upon St. Mary's. He treated Governor Stone with insolent indignity, violently seized upon his commission, and deposed him from office. Claiborne, then, the 29th of March, appointed a council, of which Robert Brooke was made presi- dent and acting Governor, took possession of the records, and abolished the authority of the Proprie- 22 History of Kent County, Maryland tary. In July, 1652, Stone submitted, and was re- instated and permitted to retain and administer the government ''in the name of the keepers of the liberty of England." Claiborne again took posses- sion of Kent Island and Palmer's Island, at the mouth of the Susquehanna. Having triumphed, this man of Belial was master of the situation, and the power of Lord Baltimore was overthrown. A proclamation, in the name of Cromwell, was is- sued, dated 22d day of July, 1654, and a commission appointed for the go^^rnment, at the head of which was Captain William Fuller. As soon as convenient. Lord Baltimore made an effort to regain his rights, and directed Stone to require all persons to take the ''oath of fidelity" and re-establish the Proprietary government. This was done in the latter part of 1654. As soon as Claiborne heard of these proceedings, with one fell spring he grappled with all his foes. At the battle of Providence (now Annapolis), 25th March, 1655, he took Stone prisoner, and compelled him again to submit. He condemned Stone to be shot, but the soldiers loved the amiable Governor, and refused to execute the cruel order. In 1658 the government was, happily, restored to the Proprietary by treaty, and the claims of Vir- ginia and Claiborne at once and forever ex- tinguished. History op Kent County, Maryland 23 ^i'&k 9 'CUSTOM HOUSE" ON HIGH STREET— H. L. BOYD'S AND J. B. SAPPINGTON'S HOMES ON MILL STREET— T. W. ELIASON'S RESIDENCE ON SPRING AVENUE— SACRED HEART CHURCH AND OLD RECTORY. 24 History of Kent County, Maryland CHAPTEE II. The Isle of Kent. This beautiful island was settled, as we have seen, between the years 1627 and 1630, by William Clai- borne, its government organized as a colony of Vir- ginia and as such represented in the General As- sembly of Virginia, which was held at James City on the 21st of February, 1631-2. It appears that, toward the latter part of the year 1637, the Isle of Kent had been in some measure reduced to the obedience of Lord Baltimore. Clai- borne had failed in his attempts to regain possession of it, by force, and had, as before stated, been sent b}^ the Governor of Virginia to England, to seek what remedy he might find there. It now became necessary to extend and establish the civil authorit}^ of the Lord Proprietor over the Island, as a part of the Province of Maryland. Ac- cordingly, on the 30th day of December, 1637, Leonard Calvert, Governor of Maryland, constituted and appointed his ''good friend Captain George Evelin, of the isle commonly called Kent," "to be Commander of the said Island and the inhabitants thereof," with power to elect and choose a Council, and to call a "court of courts," to hear and deter- mine "all causes and actions whatsoever civil" not exceeding in damages or demands the value of ten pounds sterling, and with the criminal jurisdiction of "justice of peace in England," not extending to life or member, etc. History of Kent County, Maryland 25 Notwithstanding, and although, Claiborne was ab- sent, many of the inhabitants did not hesitate to express their contempt for and resist the constituted authorities; and it was deemed necessary that the Governor, assisted by Captain Thomas Cornwallis, one of the Council, and a competent armed force, should proceed to the Island and reduce its seditious inhabitants, by martial law if necessary. The Governor thought the emergency a serious one, and he appointed Mr. John Lewger, his secre- tary, to act in his stead during his absence from St. Mary's. On the 22d day of April, 1638, Governor Calvert appointed William Brainthwayte to be ''Commander of the Isle of Kent in all matters of warfare by sea and land necessary to the resistance of the enemy or suppression of mutinies and insolencies,-' in all matters civil and criminal to exercise the jurisdic- tion of a Justice of the Peace, to hold a court of courts, and to hear and determine all causes civil ''not exceeding in damages or demands to the value of one thousand weight of tobacco." A General Assembly met at the Fort of St. Mary's on Mondav, the 25th of Februarv, 1638-1639. Mr. Nicholas Browne, planter, and Mr. Christopher Thomas, appeaiied among the Burgesses, as the dele- gates from Kent. Their credentials, the returns from the Isle of Kent, were certified by twenty-four signatures. Supposing these signatures to have been the names of all the male heads of families, then on the Isle of Kent, as they most probably were, it would afford a tolerable datum from which might be inferred the aggregate white population 26 History of Kent County, Maryland of Ihe Island at this period of time. Accounting five to a famil}^, the usual computation, the popula- tion would amount to one hundred and twenty souls. At this Assembly (1638-1639) the powers of the Commander w^ere more clearly ascertained, and a ''court of record" was erected, to be called the Hun- dred Court of Kent; of Avhich the Commander of the Island was to be the judge, and from which court an appeal lay to the County Court at St. Mary's. Provision was also made for the Supreme Court at St. Mary's to sit occasionallv on the Isle of Kent. In consequence of dangers arising from the hos- tility of the ''savages/' Captain Giles Brent, Esq., one of the Council, "was commissioned, February 3d, 1639, to be Commander of the Isle of Kent," with military powers. This was for special and temporary purpose. He remained on the Isle, in commission, but a few months, for it appears that on the 14th day of August, 1640, William Brain- thwayte was acknowledged by the Governor as Com- mander of the Isle, and ''Giles Brent," as the treas- urer of the province. The Indians had again become so hostile that the Governor on the 10th day of July, 1641, issued his proclamation, prohibiting all persons Avhatsoever to harbour or entertain any Indian, under pain of the penalties of martial law, and declaring it unlawful for any inhabitant whatsoever of the Isle of Kent to shoot, wound or kill any Indian whatsoever com- ing upon the said island. On the 16th day of December, 1642, Mr. Giles Brent was appointed, by commission, to be Com- History op Kent County, Maryland 27 mander of the Isle and County of Kent; to be Chief Captain in all matters of warfare; and to be Chief Judge in all matters civil and criminal, happening within the said Island, not extending to life or mem- AN OLD LOG CABIN ON ROAD TO MILLINGTON. ber or freehold. In the same commission also, Wil- liam Ludington, Richard Thompson and Eobert Vaughan were appointed to be commissioners within the said Island to all powers and effects as to com- missioners of a county by the law of the province da or shall belong. Commissioners of a county appear to have been then considered as having not only the power of conservators of the peace at common law, 28 History of Kent County, Maryland but as thereby authorized to hold a county court. These gentlemen seem, therefore, to have been now first authorized to hold a county court in the Isle of Kent. If any such court was held by them the record, and all evidence of it, has been lost. History of Kent County, Maryland 29 CHAPTER III. To Be Known as Kent County. The Isle of Kent, the proud but beautiful Virgin Queen of the Chesapeake, was now joined in the bonds of holy wedlock with Maryland ; changing her state she also changed her name, and, together with all her possessions, will hereafter be known as Kent County, until irreverent hands carved away with invisible lines her ancient domains; and herself, sole relic of the olden time, deprived of her mar- riage croAvn, was given as a dowry to the daughter of her elder sister. Governor Calvert, the 18th day of April, 1647, commissioned Robert Yaughan to be chief captain and commander of all the militia of the Isle of Kent, and invested him with the power of martial law. He further authorized the said Captain Robert Vaughan to award all process necessary, according to the law and custom of this province, etc. ; and he also authorized the said Captain Robert Vaughan, William Cox, Thomas Bradnox, Edward Comins, Philip Conner and Francis Brooke, or the major part of them, whereof the said Robert Vaughan ta be al- ways one, to hear, try and judge, according to the laws of this province, all actions and causes civil, except where the freehold of any one shall come in question, provided that it shall be lawful for any man, at any time before execution served, to appeal unto the provincial court ; and he also invested them with criminal jurisdiction, excepting when the life or members of any one person shall come in question. 30 History of Kent County, Maryland He further aulliorized Captain Yaiighan, by com- mission dated the 31st of May, to collect, demand and receive, for the use of the Lord Proprietary, all cus- toms, confiscations, forfeitures and escheat, by any means and at any time, due to his said Lordship upon the said island, and also by two other commis- sions to Mr. Francis Brooke, he was required to take into his custodj^ all neat cattle belonging to his said Lordship in the said island, and particularly all the estate of John Abbott, late of said island. These were the last acts of Governor Leonard Calvert. A few days afterwards, on the 9th of June, 1647, he died, after having appointed, by a verbal nomination, Mr. Thomas Greene as his successor. The first parliament of Maryland assembled in April, 1649, at St. Mary's, fifteen years after the landing of the Pilgrims under Governor Calvert. Kent was the only other county within the limits of the principality. Captain Nicholas Martin rep- resented the County in the parliament and was paid twenty-six pounds of tobacco each day (|1.56). In 1650-60 arrived the families of Burgess, Ringgold, Hynson, Jones, Wickes, Smyth, Leeds, Paca, Chase, Pearce, Chambers, Tilghman, Thompson, Frisby, Wroth and other well-known names w^hose descend- ants figure prominently in Kent. This county was named after the English shire from whence came most of the early settlers, who saw in its smiling landscape a replica of the fairest county of England. It has an area of 315 square miles, of which about 75 miles are water. It has 435 miles of county roads. History of Kent County, Maryland 31 To what sort of country did our colonist come? Notliing small or mean greeted the eve. There was the magnificent expanse of the Chesapeake Bay; there was the beautiful Chester, beside which it can well be said, ^'the Thames was but a rivulet" ; there were mighty forests stretching as far as the eye could reach, unchoked by briers, and containing "strange and beautiful trees" ; there were banks and groves dotted with the early flowers of spring ; there were myriads of water fowl and flocks of wild tur- keys; there were new and wonderful birds — the jay with his coat of blue, the tanager in his feathers of scarlet, and, strangest of all, the oriole in a dress of black and green — and this was Kent. No scarcity of food ever existed. The bay and rivers were teem- ing with fish and covered with water fowl, while the forests held multitudes of wild turkeys, deer, bears and small game. As for corn harvests, they were so bountiful that corn was almost immediately sent to New England and there exchanged for salt fish and other supplies. In 1GJ:8 the county had 135 persons. In 1652-3 there were 66 white males and 330 white souls in Kent. In 1910 there were 10,795 white inhabitants and 5,162 colored. The assessment was |9,880,450 on real estate and |30,629.40 on stocks. It is separated from Delaware on the east by a line run by Mason and Dixon. The western boun- dary is formed by the upper portion of the Chesa- peake Bay, while the Sassafras Eiver separates it from Cecil and the Chester River from Queen Anne's County. The county is located between the parallels of 39 degrees and 39 degrees 22 minutes, south lati- 32 History of Kent County, Maryland tude, and between the meridians of 75 degrees 42 minutes and 75 degrees 16 minutes, west longitude. In 1910 the farms in Kent were estimated at 956, and the average acreage 179. Tobacco was the most common currency of the province, and in 1650 one pound of it w^as worth three pence of English mone}^ Our ancestors sat upon stools, dined without forks, made free use of the napkin, and paid especial attention to the furni- ture of their bed chambers. The walls of their prin- cipal rooms were wainscoted; tea and coffee were rarely tasted; cider and sack were drank freely; plenty of fish, oysters and canvasback ducks. History of Kent County, Maryland 33 CHAPTER IV. Tench Tilgh man's Ride Through Kent. Beneath the broad and extending shade of a noble oak in old St. Paul's Cemetery, there rest the re- mains of James Tilghman, once Provincial Coun- cilor of Pennsylvania, the father of Colonel Tench Tilghman, the confidential secretary and aide-de- camp to Gen. George Washington. On the surrender of Cornwallis, October 19, 1781, Tilghman was selected by Washington to carry his official dispatch to the Congress at Philadelphia, announcing that glorious and all-important event. Taking boat in York Harbor, he was lost one night aground on Tangier shoals. On reaching Annapolis he found a dispatch from the Count de Grasse dated on the eighteenth, to Governor Thomas Sim Lee, had reached there a day ahead of him and been forwarded to Philadelphia. Without stopping he pushed on across the bay to Kent, having lost a whole day in a calm between Annapolis and Rock Hall. From there to Philadelphia is about eightj^ miles as the crow flies. De Grasse's courier had passed through Kent a day ahead. The people were on tiptoe to hear the news from York. Their hearts stopped as they imagined they heard the great guns of the English and the French booming over the waters in the still night. All looked with wistful eyes to the South for some sign of the issue of the weary struggle. It was the supreme efl'ort of American liberty. It was the very crisis of freedom. But the flower 34 History of Kent County, Maryland of Maryland was in that fight, and the lower coun- ties on the Delaware had sent their bravest and best to back their brethren of the Eastern Shore. One of the miracles of history, attested time and again by indisputable evidence, is that when the minds of a whole people are at white heat of excitement and expectation, knowledge comes to them independent of the senses. The victory of Pharsalia was known in Rome at the time it occurred, and the events of Waterloo Avere discussed on the London Stock Ex- change before it adjourned, on the 18th of June; and in June, 1863, the attack of Ewell on Milory was heard and the result detailed in Eichmond, 150 miles away from Winchester, where the battle took place, on the Sunday afternoon on Avhich it occurred. There were no telegrams or possible means of com- munication. So when Tench Tilghman landed at Rock Hall he was furnished a horse for his hundred miles' ride through the countrj^, and found the hearts and minds of men and women aglow with divine frenzy. They felt what had occurred without knowing it, and were Avild for confirmation of knowledge. Up through Kent, without drawing rein, this solitary horseman sped his way. He followed the old post road through this county by way of Forktown (now Edesville), passing by old St. Paul's Church, then to Chestertown and on to Georgetown, where he crossed the Sassafras River. When his horse began to fail he turned to his nearest kinsman — for they were mostly of the same blood — and riding up to the lonely farmhouse in old Kent would shout, "Cornwallis is taken; a fresh horse for the Con- History of Kent County, Maryland 35 gress I" and in a minute lie would be remounted and pushing on in a free gallop. All the night of the twenty-second he rode up the peninsula, not a sound disturbing the silence of the darkness except the battle marker at caulk's field. the beat of his horse's hoofs. Every three or four hours he would ride up to a lonely homestead, still and quiet and dark in the first slumbers of the night, and thunder on the door with his sword : "Corn- wallis is taken; a fresh horse for the Congress!'^ Like an electric shock the house would flash with an instant light and echo with the pattering feet of women, and before a dozen greetings could be ex- 36 History op Kent County, Maryland changed and but a word given of the fate of the loved ones at York, Tilghman would vanish in the gloom, leaving a trail of glory and joy behind him. So he ^ ,, sped through Kent, across the head of the Sassafras,'-:^ through Christiana, by Wilmington, straight on to Philadelphia. The tocsin and the slogan of his news spread like fire in dry grass, and left behind him a broad blaze of delirium and joy. '^Cornwallis is taken!" passed from mouth to mouth, flew through the air, was wafted on the autumn breeze, shone with the sunlight. "Cornwal- lis is taken! Liberty is won! Peace is come! Once more husbands, fathers, sons, lovers shall return to the hearts that gave them to the cause! Once more shall joy set on every hearth and happiness shine over every roof tree!" When or where in all the tide of time has such a message been carried to such a people? Liberty with justice! Peace with honor ! Victory with glory ! Liberty, peace, victory, honor and glory now and forever, one and inseparable! These were the tidings that Tench Tilghman bore when he rode into Philadelphia at midnight of the twenty-third, four days from the army of York. The dispatch from De Grasse had been received, but the Congress and the people waited for Washington. Nothing was true but tidings from him. Rousing the President of the Congress, McKean, Tilghman delivered his dispatch to him and the news was instantly made public. The watchmen as they went their rounds cried : "Twelve o'clock, all is well, and Cornwallis is taken!" In a minute the whole city History of Kent County, Maryland 37 was wild; lights flashed from every window; men, women and children poured into the streets. The State House bell rang out its peal of "Liberty throughout the land to all the inhabitants thereof !" And thirteen sovereign and independent States were proclaimed to the world. TENCH TILGHMAN'S RIDE THROUGH KENT. By the Rev. Dr. Oliver Huckel. The sword of Cornwallis was yielded in shame; The twenty-eight regiments, called out by name, Their colors surrendered. The whole British host Marched out 'twixt the ranks of America's boast, And laid down their muskets. Redcoat drummers with frown Beat the old English air— "The World's Upside Down!" And the great war was ended; the last battle fought, And freedom was won, so long eagerly sought! 'Twas October nineteen, and the year eighty-one. When at Yorktown full triumph crowned great Washing- ton; The vet'ran's bronzed check was wet with a tear, But ne'er had his heart known dishonor or fear. Who shall carry the message to Congress afar. That Cornwallis is taken, and ended the war? Who shall spread the glad tidings to hamlet and town That freedom is won with an honored renown? What trustiest courier, swiftest and strong, Shall bear the glad news they have waited for long? The General looked anxious and pondered awhile, Then selected his man, and with confident smile Spake, "Tilghman, to horse! And speed night and day! Take this message to Congress without a delay!" 'Twas a sprightly young officer, long his close friend. Who had served in the war from beginning to end. Then swift to the stirrup Tilghman leaped at the word, Snatching holster and pistols and girding his sword; He stopped not a moment, but with joy on his face He was off like the wind in the desperate race; The dispatch buttoned tight, naught else would he heed. But northward as fast as his good horse could speed. 38 History of Kent County, Maryland He reached the York Ferry as dusk darkened the day And chartered a sloop for quick course up the bay. The white stars crept out as they drove swift along; The fresh gale seemed singing a patriot song, As it sped the glad news, like a swift-flying dart — The glad news of victory thrilling his heart. Now Chesapeake Bay can be mild as a lamb, With softest of zephyrs and waves smooth and calm. That night came a thunderstorm. Fierce lightnings crashed And the sloop rocked and reared as the angry waves dashed; For hours were they driven till the tempest was past, And on far Tangier Shoals they had drifted at last. A whole night had been lost. As the morning dawned gray. They got off the shoals and went driving away Up the Chesapeake under full canvas. They steered For Annapolis shore. Oh, how slow time appeared! Through the day, through the night, drive they swift as they can. And at last they could hear the faint bells of St. Ann. So they came to the wharf of Annapolis soon — On Sunday as the worshipers came forth at noon; They found all excitement, for the good Count de Grasse Had writ Governor Lee what must sure come to pass; So they shout with great joy when Tench Tilghman appears, And the good news is told amid answering cheers. Where the Peggy Stewart burned the people went wild; They thronged around the State House, every man, woman, child; The guns roared salute, great fires glory lent. But Tilghman must haste on his voyage 'cross to Kent. He cried: "Take the message to old Baltimore, I must speed on my way through the far Eastern Shore!" Now again did the elements hinder his way. For smooth as a mill pond was Chesapeake Bay; No wind — not a breath — and they lay like a log All night on, the water becalmed in a fog; The night and the water were calm as the morn, But Tench Tilghman's hot heart with a tempest was torn. History of Kent County, Maryland 39 At Rock Hall he landed; found horse; off they go Like a well-chosen arrow let loose from the bow; Through rich meadows they pass, over bridges they shoot, By gardens and orchards hung heavy with fruit. He rode 'cross the head of old Sassafras stream, And on through the green hills as fleet as a dream. More than once as he rode this peninsular way His horse trembled and sank. Whether night, whether day. He cried to some farmhouse: "Ho, good folks, awaken! A fresh horse for Congress I Cornwallis is taken!" Lights flashed, quick feet echoed, a strong horse was given. And Tilghman was off like a courier of Heaven. "Hurrah!" cried the farmers from meadow and door, And cheers rent the air at the good news he bore; Wives and children rushed out as the horseman went by And laughed with delight at his jubilant cry; And bonfires were lit and church bells were heard As the countryside roused into joy at his word. 'Twas dark when old Wilmington loomed like a dream. And they swam through the shallows of Brandywine stream ; The ships on the Delaware plainly in sight. But eerie and strange in the gathering night. He galloped through Chester with rollicking song, "God speed!" cried they all, as he thundered along. Four days and four nights had he ruthlessly sped. By horse, boat, and horse again, forging ahead; Scarce stopped he to sleep, but drove on like blind fate; Oft ate as he rode, for his news could not wait; Tens of thousands were longing, as keen as could he. For word of war ended and the Colonies free. 'Twas just after midnight, on a mare strong and fleet. He rode swift over Schuylkill and down Market street. Philadelphia slumbered beneath peaceful roofs. The cobblestones echoed the beat of the hoofs; Then a-sudden with one dreadful shudder and groan His black steed fell dead — but Tilghman ran on! "O where is the President, Thomas McKean? Dispatches for Congress!" But no one was seen. At last came a sleepy watch pointing the way, And off Tilghman rushed like a roysterer gay. He knocked and he shouted. The watch bade him cease And threatened arrest for disturbing the peace. 40 History op Kent County, Maryland But he shouted the louder: "Cornwall is is taken!" And at last the deep-slumbering town did awaken; Lights flashed from the windows and forth came a throng To make the streets gay with their laughter and song; And the bell in the State House was rung by glad hands, Again sounding liberty all through the lands. 'Twas a night of rejoicing for the staid Quaker town, A great night of hist'ry and of noble renown. Cried the ancient night watch, with his lantern and bell: "Cornwallis is taken — three o'clock and all's well!" And couriers set off for New York and "down East," To tell the good news for the Thanksgiving feast. Dawn came, and a dozen great cannon boomed forth The jubilant news that had come to the North; And Congress met early, the dispatches were read. And orators praised both the living and dead; And they crowded to church and laid by the sword With hosannas from thousands of hearts to the Lord. And gallant Tench Tilghman, the hero of all, Was feted in homes and high honored in hall; Congress voted him thanks, a great sword chased with gold. And the noblest black steed with accoutrements bold; And America ne'er in its patriot pride Shall forget his good news and his glorious ride! History of Kent County, Maryland 41 CHAPTER V. '^The Battle of Caulk^s Field." This Battle Was Fought In The Early Morning Hours of Angust 31, ISlJf, on the Soil of Historic Old Kent, Near What Is Now Knoivn As The Well-Known Summer Resort, Tolchester. Of the land battles of the war with Great Britain, 1812-1814, the battle of Caulk's Field was of signal importance upon the result of the battle of North Point and the defense of the City of Baltimore (September 12, 1814). The war had been in prog- ress nearly two years and neither country had been able to force its conclusion. Wearying of the rather desultory fighting, at last Great Britain determined to make a final effort to terminate the struggle with the United States. In August, 1814, she directed her war vessels to again enter the Chesapeake Bay. The ^^A.nnual Register" of 1814, a British publication, says : ''The opera- tions of the British Armaments on the coast of the southern American States had hitherto been on a small scale and calculated rather to alarm and irri- tate than to produce any considerable effect — but in this year the resolution was taken of striking some important blow in these quarters." Tactics in that war were similar to those of earlier date and Eng- land's policy of burning the defenseless shore towns and villages, as well as the pillaging of farms that laid along the water courses, was expected by the American citizens and soldiers at that time. 42 History of Kent County, Maryland The previous year the British had burned Havre de Grace and Frenehtown at the head of Chesapeake Bav. Thev then went into the Sassafras River and burned both Georgetown and Frederiektown — inci- dentally bringing to light the heroism of Kitty Knight, which is herein fully told. The Maryland forces were preparing to defend the city, and soldiers were being drilled throughout the State with the expectation of going to the aid of Baltimore's defenders when they were needed. Across the Chesapeake on the Eastern Shore, bodies of volunteers were camped ready to move at a mo- ment's notice. In Kent the Twenty-first Regiment of Maryland Militia under Col. Philip A. Reed was encamped at Bellair, now known as Fairlee, a little village about five miles from the bay shore and about seven miles west of Chestertown. The regiment con- sisted of five companies of infantry, one cavalry and one artillery company, in all just 174 men. They had five pieces of artillery and were fairly well equipped with guns, pistols and swords, but had only twenty rounds of ammunition for each man. It is needless to say that Colonel Reed was kept posted by the citizens of the county, and he quickly received news from the bay-shore farms whenever a strange sail was seen out on the waters of the Chesapeake. Late Saturday afternoon, August 27th, news reached Colonel Reed that a frigate was headed up the bay about abreast of Swan Point, and with her were two smaller vessels. A strong southerly breeze filled their sails and they came bounding up the Chesapeake over the white caps presenting a beauti- ful sight. This ship was the "Menelaus," com- History of Kent County, Maryland 43 manded hy Captain Sir Peter Parker, Bart. She carried iu addition to lier regular cre\\' about one hundred and twenty soldiers. She ^vas armed with thirty-eight guns — only six less than our then famous warship '"Constitution." That Sir Peter Parker was ordered to make a ''diyersion'' on the Eastern Shore is yeritied by the following extract from a letter to the Admiralty written September 1st, 1814, by Vice-Admiral Coch- rane, then on board the flagship "Tonnant" in the Patuxent Riyer. ''Captain Sir Peter Parker on the 'Menelaus' with some small yessels was sent up the Chesapeake aboye Baltimore to divert the attention of the enemy in that quarter." The most important part of ''diyerting the atten- tion of the enemy" Ayas to preyent the troops from crossing the bay to the assistance of Baltimore. Captain Sir Peter Parker was ordered to capture when possible the small bodies of American soldiers, to burn the farmhouses along the bay shore and to harass the people in eyery possible way. Following the instructions of his superior officer, he brought his yessel to anchor late Saturday night off the mouth of Fairlee Creek. Sunday morning, August 28th, Captain Parker landed about one hun- dred men on the farm known as "Skidmore," then owned by Mr. John Waltham, where they burned eyery building on the farm, together with all the wheat in the granary, as well as in the stacks in the fields. According to a letter written from Chester- town on September Gth, 1811, to the ''Weekly Star," published in Easton, Talbot County, Maryland, (a copy of this old paper can be seen in the library of 44 History of Kent County, Maryland the Maryland Historical Society) Mr. Waltham sus- tained a loss of eight thousand dollars. On the fol- lowing Tuesday morning, August 30th, the farm be- longing to Richard Frisby, Esq., then living in Baltimore, was raided and buildings burned. His farm of 422 acres in Kent County just north of Fairlee Creek was part of the grant known as "Great Oak Manor." He sustained a loss of not less than six thousand dollars. That night the "Menelaus" dropped down the bay and anchored off the shore about a mile north of the farm on which Tolchester Beach is now located, abreast of "Chantilly," the farm recently owned by Captain William I. Rasin. The day had been hot and sultry and the ship's crew as well as the ma- rines welcomed the cool evening breezes off the bay as the vessels swung to their anchors. Captain Parker had watched from the deck of the ''Menelaus" the golden path on the waters of the Chesapeake that led straight out to the great red orb — had watched with thoughtful gaze the great red sun set behind the hills of the Western Shore. His thoughts were of home and loved ones. Far away in his home in England his wife and three little sons, Peter, Charles and George, were looking forward to his return to them. When Sir Peter was twenty-two years of age (in 1809) he had courted and married Marianne, second daughter of Sir George Dallas, Bart. To her he now sat down and wrote : "H. M. S. Menelaus, August '60, 1814. My Darling Marianne: I am just going on desperate service, and entirely depend upon valor and example for its successful issue. If any History of Kent County, Maryland 45 thing befalls me, I have made a sort of will. My Country will be good to you and our adored children. God Almighty bless and protect you all — Adieu, most beloved Marianne, Adieu! Peter Parker. P. S. I am in high health and spirits." That he had a premonition tliat his end was near is borne out by this very touching letter to his wife. Certain are we that he realized tlie risk he was tak- ing, and as certain are we that he did not shirk what he regarded as his duty. He had been told by one of the negroes on Mr. Frisby's farm that morning that about two hundred militia were encamped behind a woods about a half mile inland from where his vessel lay at anchor. The negro intentionally misled them as the troops under Colonel Reed were five miles away ! Sir Peter Parker determined to surprise and capture this body of soldiers later in the night. It has recently been stated in one of the weekly papers printed in Chestertown that Sir Peter Parker made the statement on leaving the vessel that night that he would eat his breakfast in "Chestertoivn or hell." This statement is entirely without foundation and is an unwarranted aspersion on the character of the man. There is no historical evidence that he even thought of attacking Chestertown. Captain Sir Peter Parker, his chief officer, Henry Crease, and his Lieutenant Pearce together discussed that evening the proposed attack on the American camp. They formed their plans and determined to w^ait until after midnight to land the soldiers and seamen on the shores of historic old Kent. The night was hot ; the breeze had died out and the mist hung over the water, almost shutting out the 46 History of Kent County, Maryland shore, along which the little waves chased one an- other on the pebbles. The '4ap" of the waves and an occasional plaintive call of a whippoorwill in the woodland bordering the shore were sounds that added to the oppressiveness of the night. At Bellair, out in the country about five miles from where the vessels lay at anchor, Colonel Keed, who had fought the British in the War of the Revo- lution, discussed with his officers and a few of the leading citizens of the county the plans to meet the threatened attack of the British. He had sent pick- ets to the bay shore to give warning when there was a landing made by Sir Peter Parker. About twelve o'clock at night one of those pickets brought word to Colonel Reed that Captain Parker ''had landed about one hundred and fifty men" and was marching eastward out the road past the north end of the "Big Swamp." The moon had risen and thrcAV long shadows over the fields, making objects in the mist less distinguishable than they otherwise would be. Colonel Reed lost no time, but ordered the militia to advance at once. They proceeded toward the Chesapeake Bay, crossing the ''Tulip Forest," ''Eccleston" and the "Everest" farms, and reached the ridge on the high ground on Mr. Isaac Caulk's farm, just to the south of his house, at about half -past twelve. To the left of the ridge the main road ran down towards the bay. To the right of this road a strip of heavy timber stretched away to the west. Immedi- ately in front of his position Colonel Reed could see the open low land of "Moore's Field," fifty acres, per- haps, of cleared land. Here Colonel Reed halted his History of Kent County, Maryland 47 men, forming in position to cover the probable ad- vance of the enemy. The following letter written by Colonel Reed to Brigadier-General Benjamin Chambers gives a very excellent description of the arrangement of the troops as well as a fair acconnt of the engagement and result: "Camp at Belle Air. 3d Sept., 1814. "Sir: I avail myself of the first moment I have been able to seize from incessant labor, to inform you that about half past eleven o'clock in the night of the 30th ult., I re- ceived information that barges of the enemy, then lying off Waltham's farm were moving in shore. I concluded their object was to land and burn houses, etc., at Wal- tham's and made the necessary arrangements to prevent them and to be prepared for an opportunity which I had sought for several days, to strike the enemy. During our march to the point threatened it was discovered that the blow was aimed at our camp. "Orders were immediately given to the Quarter Master to remove the camp and baggage, and to the troops to countermarch, pass the road by the right of our camp, and form on the rising ground about three hundred paces to the rear — the right towards Caulk's House, and the left retiring on the road, the artillery in the centre, supported by the infantry on the right and left. I directed Captain Wickes and his Second Lieutenant Beck with a part of the rifle company to be formed so as to cover the road by which the enemy marched, and with this section I determined to post myself, leaving the line to be formed under the direction of Major Wickes and Captain Chambers. The head of the enemy's column soon presented itself, and received the fire of our advance party at seventy paces distance, and being pressed by numbers vastly superior, I repaired to my post on the line, having ordered the rifle- men to return and form on the right of the line. "The fire now became general along the whole line and was sustained by our troops with the most determined valor. The enemy pressed our front; foiled in this he threw himself upon our left flank which was occupied by Capt. Chambers' company. Here, too, his efforts were un- availing. His fire had nearly ceased when I was informed 48 History of Kent County, Maryland that in some parts of our line the cartridges were entirely expended, nor did any of the boxes contain more than a few rounds, although each man brought about twenty into the field. The artillery cartridges were entirely expended. Under these circumstances, I ordered the line to fall back to a convenient spot where a part of the line forti- fied when the few remaining cartridges were distributed amongst a part of the line, which was again brought into the field, where it remained for a considerable time, the night preventing pursuit. The artillery and infantry for whom there were no cartridges, were ordered to this place (Belle Air). The enemy having made every effort in his power, al- though apprized of our falling back manifested no disposi- tion to follow us up but retreated about the time our ammunition was exhausted. When it is recollected that very few of our officers or men had ever heard the whistling of a ball; that the force of the enemy, as the most accurate information enables us to estimate, was double ours; that it was commanded by Sir Peter Parker of the "Menelaus" one of the most distinguished officers of the British navy and composed (as their ofiiicers admit- ted in subsequent conversation) of as fine men as could be selected from the British service, I feel justified in the assertion that the gallantry of the officers and men engaged on this occasion could not be excelled by any troops. The officers and men performed their duty. It is, how- ever, but an act of justice to notice those officers who seemed to display more than a common degree of gallantry. Major Wickes and Captain Chambers were conspicuous; Captain Wickes and his Lieutenant John Beck of the rifle corps. Lieutenant Enneck (Everest?) and Ensign Wm. Skirven of Captain Chambers' company exerted themselves, as did Captain Hynson and his Lieutenant Grant, Captain Usselton of the brigade artillery and his Lieutenant John Reed and Morgan Brown. Lieutenant Tilghman, who com- manded the guns of the volunteer artillery in the absence of Captain Hands, who is in ill health and from home, was conspicuous for his gallantry; his ensign Thomas also manifested much firmness. 1 am indebted to Captain Wil- son of the Cavalry who was with me for his exertions and also to Adjutant Hynson who displayed much zeal and firmness throughout. To Dr. Blake, Dr. Gordon and to Isaac Spencer, Esq., who were accidentally in camp I am indebted for their assistance in reconnoitering the enemy on his advance. You will be surprised, Sir, when I inform you that in an engagement of so long continuance, in an open field, when the moon shone brilliantly on the rising ground occupied by our troops, while the shade of the neighboring History of Kent County, Maryland 40 woods under the protection of which the enemy fought gave us but an indistinct view of anything but the flash of liis guns, tliat under the disparity of numbers against us, and the advantage of regular discipline on the side of the enemy we had not one man killed, and only one sergeant, one corporal and one private wounded, and those slightly. The enemy left one midshipman and eight men dead on the field and nine wounded, six of whom died in the course of a few hours. Sir Peter Parker was amongst the slain; he was mortally wounded by a buck-shot, and died before he reached the barges to which he was conveyed by his men. The enemy's force consisted of marines and mus- keteers, was in part armed with boarding pikes, swords and pistols, no doubt intended for our tents, as orders had been given by Sir Peter Parker not to fire. Many of these arms, with rockets, muskets, etc., have fallen into our hands, found by the picket guard, under Ensign William Skirven which was posted on the battle- ground for th(; remainder of the night. Nothing but the want of ammunition saved the enemy from destruction. Attached are the names of the wounded; and as an act of justice to those concerned, I enclose you a list of every officer and soldier engaged in this affair. Certain inforn a- tion from the enemy assures us that his total loss in killed and wounded was forty-two or forty-three, including two wounded lieutenants. I am, sir, your most obedient humble servant, Phil. Reed, Lieut. Col. Commanding" "Names of the wounded of Captain Chambers' Company: John Magnor, Sergeant, slightly in the thigh; Philip Crane, Corporal, a ball between the tendons and the bone of the thigh, near the knee. Of Captain Page's Company: John Glanville, a private, shot in the arm," The ''Menelaiis" and her two companion vessels were withdrawn on Wednesday night, Augnst 31st, after taking aboard the body of Sir Peter Parker and the wounded men and an anchorage made across the bay off Pool's Island, Her acting commander, Henry Crease, reported the Caulk's Field engage- ment to his superior officer, Vice-Admiral Sir Alex- ander Cochrane. 50 History of Kent County, Maryland Under date of September 1st, 1814, lie says in part: '^Witli grief the deepest, it becomes my duty to communicate the death of Sir Peter Parker, Bart., hite commander of His Majesty-s Ship ''Menelaus," and the occurrence attending an attack on the en- emy's troops on the night of the 30th ult., encamped at Bellair." ''The previous and accompanying letters of Sir Peter Parker will, I presume, fully point out the respect the enemy on all occasions evince at the approach of our arms." "An intelligent black man gave us information of two hundred militia being encamped behind a woods, distant half a mile from the beach, and described their situation so as to give us the strongest hope of cutting them off and securing the largest part as our prisoners, destroying the camp, field pieces, etc., and possessing also certain information that one man out of every five had been levied as a requisition on the Eastern Shore for the purpose of 'being sent over for the protection of Baltimore, and who are now only prevented from crossing the 'bay by the activity and vigilance of the tender and ship's boats." ''One hundred and four bayonets with twenty pikes were landed at eleven o'clock at night under the immediate direction of Sir Peter Parker, Bart., captain, the first division headed bv mvself and the second by Lieutenant Pearce. On arriving at the ground we discovered the enemy had shifted his po- sition, as we were then informed, at the distance of a mile farther. Having taken the lookout picquet (picket) immediately on our landing, Ave were in History of Kent County, Maryland 51 assurance our motions had not been discovered, and with the deepest silence followed on for the camp. After a march of between four or five miles in the country, we found the enemy posted on a plain sur- rounded by woods, with the camp in their rear ; they were drawn up in line and perfectly ready to receive us. A single moment was not to be lost. By a smart fire and instant charge we commenced the attack, forced them from their position, putting them before us in full retreat to the rear of their artillery, where they again made a stand, showing a disposition to outflank us on the right. A movement was instantly made by Lieutenant Pearce's division to force them from that quarter, and it w^as at this time, while ani- mating his men in the most heroic manner, that Sir Peter Parker received his mortal wound, which obliged him to quit the field and he expired in a few minutes. Lieutenant Pearce, with his division, soon routed the enemy, while that under my command gained and passed the camp. One of the field pieces was momentarily in our possession, but obliged to quit it from superior numbers. The marines under Lieutenant Beynon and Lieutenant Poe formed our centre, and never was bravery more conspicuous." ••'Finding it impossible to close on the enemy from the rapidity of their retreat, having pressed them upwards of a mile, I deemed it prudent to retire towards the beach, which was effected in the best possible order, taking with us from the field twenty- five of our Avounded, the whole we could find, the en- emy not even attempting to regain the ground they had lost. From three prisoners (cavalry) taken by us we learnt their force amounted to five hundred 52 History of Kent County, Maryland militia, a troop of horse and five pieces of artillery, and since, by flags of truce, 1 am led to believe their numbers much greater. Repelling a force of such magnitude with so small a body as we opposed to them will, I trust, speak for itself, and although our loss has been severe I hope the lustre acquired to our arms will compensate for it." This engagement upon the soil of old Kent, though participated in by few men on either side, was hotly contested, and no one can accuse either side of being cowardly. It is reasonable to suppose that the American forces expected to find at least two hun- dred men on the British vessels under Sir Peter Parker. On the other hand, the British captain had been purposely misinformed as to the number of the American force opposing them. Colonel Philip A. Reed, who commanded the Mary- land militia at this battle of "Caulk's Field," was a native of Kent County and at the time of the battle was in his fifty-fourth year. At the age of sixteen he had joined a volunteer company enlisted in Kent County by Nathaniel Kennard, Jr. This company was inspected and passed for service in the Conti- nental Army by William Henry on July 22nd, 1776, just sixteen days after the signing of the Declaration of Independence at Philadelphia. Having seen hard service in the Revolutionary War, having risen from private to the rank of cap- tain, Philip Reed returned to his home in Kent at the close of the war, where he entered the public life of his county. He was a member of the ''I. U." Par- ish of the Protestant Episcopal Church and attended services in the little brick parish church at "I. U." History of Kent County, Maryland 53 In 180G he was elected to the United States Senate. He served that time one year, and was re-elected and served until 1813. In that year he was made a lieutenant colonel of the volunteers of the State of Maryland, and, as previously stated, commanded the Twenty-first Maryland Militia until peace was re- stored with Great Britain. Colonel Reed became a charter member of the Maryland Society of the Cin- cinnati and was elected vice-president of the society in 1828. He lived to be 69 years old, dying on No- vember 2nd, 1829. He was buried in Christ Church Cemetery at "I. U." and a memorial slab marks the grave of this one of Kent's most distinguished citizens. Captain — afterwards known as Judge — Ezekiel F. Chambers commanded the first company of the regi- ment under Colonel Reed. He was born in Chester- town on the 28th of February, 1788, acquired his col- legiate education at the famous old Washington Col- lege, where he received his degree. In 1808 he was admitted to the bar, and soon developed into an able advocate. He became identified with the local mili- tary organization and was a loyal and capable soldier, rising, as I have already stated, to be captain of his company at the age of twenty-six. At the election of 1824 he was sent to the upper house of the Maryland Assembly. The legislature of 1828 elected him United States Senator, to which office he was re-elected in 1832. The following year Yale Universitj^ conferred upon him the degree of L. L. D. To fill a vacancy occurring upon the bench of the Court of Appeals, he was appointed Chief Judge of that body in 1834, which place he retained 54 History of Kent County, Maryland until 1857. Owing to ill health he was forced to decline the portfolio of Secretary of the Navy, offered to him by President Fillmore at that time. The famous old Bedingfield Hands Mansion, facing the Chester Eiver, in Chestertown, became the home of Judge Chambers. Here he died in 1866. This beautiful example of Colonial architecture is now the home of Mr. Wilbur W. Hubbard. Joseph Wickes was second in command, with the rank of Major. He was a brother-in-law to Captain Chambers, and from him was descended two of Kent's prominent men, Judge Joseph A. Wickes, and his brother. Judge Pere L. Wickes of Baltimore. Col. Joseph L. Wickes of Baltimore and Lewin W. Wickes of the State Tax Commission are also de- scendants. Time will not permit reference to the other men who took part in the defence of old Kent; we will let this suffice at this time. It is, however, proper to speak of the distinguished British officer who was killed in the Battle of Caulk's Field. As has been stated, his body was taken aboard the "Menelaus," and as soon as possible taken to Bermuda, and there buried with military honors on October 14th, 1814. The following Spring his body was taken up and carried to England, where on the 14th of May, 1815, it was placed in the Parker family vault at St. Mar- garet's Church, Westminster. While the ceremonies took place at the early hour of six in the morning, many notables of the British Government were there, to show their respect for the memory of this distinguished citizen and soldier. History of Kent County, Maryland 55 Caiilk's Field farm was in possession of Mr. Isaac Caulk at the time of the battle. He had inherited the property. It was part of a tract known as ''Arcadia," which was granted as 1,000 acres to Michael Miller, one of the first vestrymen of old St. Paul's Church, Kent County. This particular part of "Arcadia" had belonged to Isaac Caulk's uncle, John Moore, and upon the death of Mr. Moore, in August, 1812, the property became Isaac Caulk's. The War Department records at Washing- ton call the engagement the "Battle of MoorefieM' or "CaiiWs Field." It is also thus spoken of in "Niles' Register." The bricks in the gable of the old Caulk's Field House show that it was built in 1713. It is one of the oldest buildings now stand- ing in Kent, and is now owned by Mr. E. J. Watson. On the initiative of the late Rev. Chris. T. Den- roche, in 1902, then rector of St. Paul's Parish in Kent, a handsome granite battle-marker was placed beside the main road that leads from Chestertown to Tolchester, on ''Caulk's Field." Assisting Mr. Denroche in raising the necessary funds to erect the marker were Capt. Columbus A. Leary, Charles 0. Hopper, Fred G. Usilton, L. B. Russell of Kent, Col. Wm. M. Marine, James E. Carr, Jr., Mr. Thomas Hill and W. H. Gill of Baltimore. That there can never be offence given to those who by chance should pass that way the monument bears the following inscription: ''ERECTED TO COMMEMORATE THE PATRIOTISM AND FORTITUDE OF THE VICTOR AND VANQUISHED.'^ 56 History of Kent County, Maryland List of Soldiers. Among the old papers now in the librar}- of the Maryland Historical Society we find a "list of offi- cers and men who were in the action at Caulk's Field on the night of the thirtieth of Angust last under Colonel Eeed," in the issue of October 4th, 1814, of the RepiiWcan Star or General Advertiser^ published at Easton, Talbot County, Maryland. The names of the companies and the men in each com- pany are as follows : Of Captain Chambers' Company: Ezekiel F. Chambers, Captain Thomas Eunick, Lieutenant William Skirven, Ensign Alford, Aaron Bordley, Thomas Benton, Benjamin Chambers, David Chambers, Benjamin Lee Crane, Philip Coleman, Isaiah Coleman, James Comegys, Lemuel Constable, Robert Coleby, Edward Dugan, Thomas Dunk, Alexander Deal, Samuel Elliott, William Falls, David Floyd, Samuel Gooding, James Griffith, Samuel Haltzman, George Hickenbottom, James Herbert, Zabedel Haley, James Jones, John Kennard, Richard Kennard, Thomas J. Kemp, John (drummer) Lassell, William S. Lasell, William C. Magnor, John (sergeant) Mansfield, James Miller, James D. Notts, William Rumney, Samuel Russell, Theophelus Robinson, James Toulson, Andrea Usselton, John Vickers, James Vickers, Jesse Watts, George Wickes, Joseph (4th) Wickes, Thomas History of Kent County, Maryland 57 Of Captain Hand's Company: (Captain Hand was too ill to serve). (Volunteer Artillery.) Henry Tilghman, Lieutenant Richard S. Thomas, Ensign Barnes, Robert Brown, James F. Copper, Henry Eccleston, John B. Edwards, James Elbert, Samuel Gibbs, Joseph Hyland, William Hague, William James, Thomas J. Maslin, James Middleton, James Martin, William McGuire, Robert Nicholls, Jeremiah Parsley, Arthur Ringgold, James, Jr. Redue, Joseph Robertson, Henry Seymour, Richard Staveley, Wilson Tonson, Nathaniel Taylor, Thomas Vickers, Thomas Wilcox, James W'ilmer, Lemuel , Wilmer, John R. Of Captain Wickes' Rifle Corps: Simon Wickes, Jr., Captain Joseph Brown, First Lieutenant John Beck, Second Lieutenant Airy, John Beck, Peregrine Beck, John Coleman, Samuel Bowling, Eliphar Fricks, Richard Fellingham, Robert Hartley, Thomas Hyland, John Jones, John Kennard, Richard Lamb, William Pearce, John Rolinson, Levin Sparks, Bazilla Stokes, Horatio Smith, James Smith, Richard Swift, Elisha Tharp, James Urie, Henry Wickes, Samuel C. Yates, James Of Captain Griffith's Company: Samuel Griffith, Captain Joseph Thomas, Lieutenant Baker, Samuel Brown, Hiram Crouch, John Crouch, James Dank, Henry De Course, Barney Harriss, Jonathan Jones, David Kendall, William Simmonds, George G. 58 History of Kent County, Maryland Of Captain Hynson's Company: Thomas B. Hynson, Captain Richard Grant, Lieutenant Hague, William Love, Robert Whaland, Peregrine Shaw, James Warum, John Of Captain Page's Company: Samuel Wickes, Lieutenant Merritt Miller, Ensign Ashley, George Alloway, Gabriel Beck, Elisha Benton, Thomas Bryan, Stephen Covington, Thomas Covington, Jesse Coleman, Ezekiel Clark, Jesse Cleaves, Nathan Crouch, Thomas Collin, Robert Downey, James Dudley, Nicholas Dunn, John Eagle, James Frisby, William Glanville, John Hynson, Benjamin Humphrey, John Hudson, James Ivry, William Legg, James Miller, William Simons, William Spencer, Thomas Warum, Abraham Wickes, William, Jr. Yearley, John, Jr. Artillery Company Aquilla M. Ussleton, Captain John Reed, Lieutenant Morgan Brown, Lieutenant Apsley, William, Jr. Apsley, Dulaney Carroll, Philip Cannon, Edward Dugan, John Forman, Ezekiel Gedley, Joseph Hatcherson, James Leatherberry, Charles Nicholson, Edward Pennington, Benedict Rasin, Siras Rasin, Philip, Jr. Stewart, Henry H. Ussleton, James Ussleton, William T. Wickes, Mathias Weaver, William Part op Caulk^s Field Story. The British official list of their killed and wounded reported by Henrj^ Crease, acting com- History of Kent County, Maryland 59 mander, were: Killed, Sir Peter Parker, baronet; Capt. J. T. Sands, midshipman ; R. Friar and R. Robinson, quartermasters; J. Perren, swabber; T. Dorris, sailmaker; G. Hall, ordinary seaman; J. Evans, sergeant-of-marines ; W. Hooper, W. Davis, THE THOS. HILL CAULK'S FIELD HOUSE. Built in 1743 and now owned by E. Jos. Watson. R. Johnson, W. Rogers, W. Powell and R. Jones, marines, a total of fourteen acknowledged to have been killed. The wounded were reported to be: T. Fitzmaurice, boatswain's mate, severely ; J. McAllis- ter, J. Mooney, seamen, severely ; M. Cullen, seaman, slightly; J. Cooper and J. Malcolm, seamen, severely; A. McArthur, captain of the forecastle, severely; W. Noel, seaman, slightly; T. Taffield, quartermaster's mate, severely; M. Halligan, quar- 60 History of Kent County, Maryland tei'-guuuer, slightly; B. G. Beynon, lieutenant-of- mariues, seyereh ; G. Poe, similar officer, slightly; J. List, J. Haryey, J. Schriber, G. Morrell and W. Smith, marines, slightly ; W. Golatham, E. Turner and W. Pritchard, marines, and J. Manderson, a seaman ; J. Eowe, landsman, and G. Hobbs, captain of the foretop, seyerel3\ A total of 28 admitted to haye been wounded, some of whom subsequently died. The Americans buried the fallen British by the roadside, Ayhere a hedge now grows in thrifty luxu- riance. About the year 1830, a small boy (the late Columbus A. Learj ) on his way home from school saw some Ayorkmen opening a mound on the road- side; he stood and watched the dirt-heayers. The friends of the dead midshipman had sent across the ocean to bear the relics of their loyed ouie over the sea. He was identified and his remains conyej^ed to England, where he sleeps, perhaps, in one of those beautiful country churchyards where sublime still- ness hoyers oyer the sward. The earth was thrown back and has not since been disturbed. The dead Britons haye graves secured against depredations, in which they will rest securely until the Judgment Day. The late Columbus A. Leary has placed a rough stone in the hedge, on a located spot where the graves are supposed to be. History of Kent County, Maryland 61 THE BATTLE OF CAULK'S FIELD. (By Dr. P. Wroth.) I sing of War, and all its thousand woes, Of bloody wounds and death's convulsive throes, Descend, oh Muse, and while thy Vot'ry sings. Let thine own fingers touch the sounding strings. 'Twas noon of night when round the frozen Pole His sluggish form the Bear was seen to roll. And earth and ocean wide-extended lay Beneath pale Cynthia's sleep-inviting ray. When hostile barges moored upon our shore, And Albion's flag the peerless Parker bore: That flag Avhich Gaul's proud Tyrant long had braved, Which wide o'er Europe's bloody plains had waved — No more alas! for victory won to wave- But shroud Sir Peter in his bloody grave! Three hundred warriors, a selected band, With dire intention by their Chief's command. Propelled by sails and oars soon reached our shore, Their native Britain doomed to reach no more. Thus some dark cloud, driven on by Eurees' blast. Which bows the trees and bends the lofty mast — Dispersed by rising Zephyr instant flies And scowling, darkens all the eastern skies! And thus Goliah's boasted prowess yields To God's anointed Shepherd of the fields. One hundred youths, Columbia's chosen seed. Led on by gallant, dauntless god-like Reed; With shining muskets gleaming from afar. And bristly bayonets, stood the tug of war. High in the midst, the bravest of the brave (Like Calpi's mound amidst old Ocean's wave). Stood Tilghman firm, while loud his cannon roars, And ghastly deaths in swift succession pours. The battle rages now and warmer grows. Each hostile chief with burning ardour glows, Here brutal Mars — his garments bathed in blood, And there Billona, war's dire goddess, stood; When Tilghman rose, and cast his eyes around — He spoke — and quick the hills returned the sound. "My friends, my comrades, brave compeers in arms — Who stand unmoved Billona's dread alarms — Mark yonder Chief who towers amidst his friends — Whose voice of thunder heav'n's blue concave rends — The shield, the buckler of the hostile host — See that he falls — and all their hopes are lost." C2 History of Kent County, Maryland He spoke, unerring Nicols heard the sound With fatal speed his cannon wheeled around; Out flew the ball— Sir Peter bit the ground- Life's purple current issued from the wound! Affrighted Cynthia veiled her radiant eyes In clouds of Smoke, and fled beyond the skies! The polar star and all who walk the rounds From the eastern limits to the western bounds, Concealed their orbs — and dyed old Ocean's flood — Oh! strange to tell, with streaming tears of blood! Sir Peter slain, the hostile squadrons fled; The woods and valleys groaned beneath their dead! Regained their barges — plied the lab'ring oars. And fled forever from our blood-stained shores. Incidents Preceding the ^^Caulk^s Field^^ Battle. The success attending the operations of the British during the early part of 1814 encouraged them to carry out the determination of the Admiralty to strike some formidable blow. The army under Maj. History of Kent County, Maryland 63 Gen. Sir Robert Ross consisted of 4,000 picked troops and these were landed in the Patuxent River about the middle of August. They marched upon Washington, burned Bladensburg as they went, and, meeting with only a feeble resistance from the American army who were supposed to be defending the national capital, the British entered the city, burned the President's house, the Capitol, the Navy Yard and the vessels therein. This was on the 24th day of August, 1814. They returned to the fleet in the Patuxent and under the immediate command of Vice- Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane proceeded up the bay to attack Baltimore. The city was then the home of the famous "Clipper ships" and ''privateers" that were the persistent foe of the British navy and it was determined if possible to capture the city and destroy her shipping. That was the '^important blow" spoken of in the "Annual Register." 64 History of Kent County, Maryland CHAPTEK VI. Burning of Georgetown and Fredericktown on THE Sassafras. The ThriUing Story of How the Valiant Kitty Knight Saved Georgetoicn, From the Pen of Mrs. Harriett L. W. Hill, a Scion of One of the Old Families of Kent. The eyes of one looking for the unique and beau- tiful would dance with admiration at the romantic story and facts connected with the burning of Georgetown and Fredericktown on the borders of the Sassafras Eiver during the war with England in 1812 and 1813. This story has to do with the Kitty Knight home now standing at Georgeto^ni. Miss Kitty Knight was one of the most beautiful and accomplished women Kent County has ever known. She was a great-aunt to Mr. William Knight, of Baltimore, and related to the Knights of Chestertown and Cecil County. Miss Kitty was tall and graceful, with hair dressed high on her head in colonial style and represented as queenly in appearance. She attended one of the great State balls in Philadelphia during a session of the Con- tinental Congress in that city and danced with General Washington. Mrs. Harriett L. W. Hill has spent much time delving into hidden incidents of historv, and savs : ''The attack is said to have been led by Admiral Cockburn. Mrs. Ireland, an old lady (living in History of Kent County, Maryland Go Cliestertown Avlieii I was a child) related her per- sonal experience at the time the British landed at Georgetown, which place was then her home. Great was the consternation at the rumored approach of the British soldiers. The men of all classes, and boys able to shoulder a musket or use any other weapon, hastily collected, carrying whatever arms ^^BStSB^S^^^ G^SI^SHH w^t^mst SH^^E^SaBBiHil g^awMa^M^M — WWIIm MM-^ r ^'-^S-ir-vl ^^^^s^^^^Sn^ i^^^H ^S^^livb i Is--, «i^--''^'^«%' ■■ ' ^w^^^S^S^^mmt .ff^ 'f*C-/' *i^^' • * : ^ ^^W^v «S?^^ ^^#f**- ^p^^pM -0Ml^ '■■^M^^ •>; . , -'r? fe;t^^*^ ?|:,.4l — fc^^^^B^H m^^^. fc^^'>%^ i^p \WB^iS^S^ '■ :'PiS, ■ ■■ r^^^:;^. .:/ -■ --i ■ ■ ^-^^': -■ ' '^iM ^^K^^^ 8^^!twC^^ ^XM .. i'S^fe-^^^ " ■' ^■'"" * ^^^ J^:-' W^ki^^'^-f.iti': t& ^^^^Si^ fe^-^fr^PJmB^jJiilH ^^^^S iJ^^^S i .^'^-5:1^:^ ^ % -^^ i^^^sk ^MMJ^IP W^mi r^^-35^i^^*^*^ * v'^- J^^^s^sear-'v* V;^t' '^30^^'^^ f^ \i^ ^m ' ''#^ ■-' '* ' v^-^SI^^SlS ' j^/ '«s3i ^W^^ \ -.■ "■:-■""■" % %l^ l^^^^^B "J.'/^ ^■?BS3'^SSI';,r-& ,- :„ .',«5i.„. fc ;-X.^J^iS^^i^ ^ -" 1h :•*' '■ '■1 i:' ■^::J!misan='l • '- Bs: «&*, -^?i-.v. 'Sv -■■Jeraa? ' ^ '!^ ^^ 4 r, 9 ^g^§ff[^^^s^3BF^3| ^^", :- ■- -■^'J§-: ''^' ^ '''':''''^^^^"''' If : ^ imsm^s^ ■ ^w^^^H isk P^' '•■: . - Jw\. 1*s^-^S 1 — p-^^^^^. ' m^^*^ Spf^l^M ^^^'-.t ,■-%■_:- lll^ 8 _Jh^ WM*"^- m^J '" r ^ ^^K2mI '■'% ' ^^iM t- gHB^f^^ #: "-■■'" ^frP^^^^^P w^^* %. ^^^^^^ ' ^^^^ ik^ i^j^^^^l^R IH^BI^^^^^^S ;^, ■----;■:; Hcj^^^&^^i- ^P^'^M B^5 «i-' ■' ■ \ 'it ^■^"; [^M| 1"-^^^^ ^% ^^^^^^8 \:.#«'_ ;\ / HvM^^''" ^ '^"^c^flj -*>-S5-'is^^Ks'- ^^^^^^K K ^'^^M^M ^ri^^^^^s *•;««#» ^^^^fe^Uv'.-..;.;,-:.-, Egi^-v;-:. ''^*. *; **: A<^m Ifijj^l^a^j^^ig^ ^i-%;' m:^tM^ ."-■■:-;"^^^ ^^^m Z *:^*'^*»^ n: $^I^S^ttjl^t^^ ^^^B fes" ^B ^^^^^w they could procure and marched out of the town to meet the foe, and prevent, if possible, his nearer approach. Only old men, women and children remained to guard their homes and household treasures. From time to time, alarming news came of the continued onward march of the enemy and the firing of guns at length was distinctly heard by the refugees from the town as they hastened in search of a place of 66 History of Kent County, Maryland safety. This natural desire to escajje the impending destruction of their homes Avas, of course, universal, also the wish to carry away with them as much of their money, silver articles and other valuables as was possible in their hasty flight. Mrs. Ireland said that only her small children and their nurse remained at home with her; all terribly friohtened. She hastened to her stable and har- nessed a horse to an old-fashioned, high swung, two- wheeled ''gig'' such as was used in those days, in which she took her children and their nurse to a thick woods about two miles away from the town, where she left them together, hastening back to her house, catching up her table silver, valuable papers and other small articles, returning with them to the woods and putting them on the ground near her children. Again and again did she make these trips, emptying bureau drawers and closets of clothing; taking in her small conveyance anything else she could, urging her horse to his utmost speed each time, thus saving some few of her things from the fire which afterwards consumed the town. It was a time of great distress to the stricken people, who were experiencing only a common result of warfare. We can readily imagine the inconveni- ence and loss, the burning of even these two small towns on the Sassafras Eiver caused the inhabitants. These little details help us to realize historical oc- currences far more vividlv than the bare mention of facts. The story of Miss Kitty Knight, of course, has varied in some minor points, from the number of narrators. I was told that her youth and beauty, added to a stately carriage, made a strong impres- History of Kent County, Maryland 67 sion upon all who saw her iu those da^s, and that wheu the British soldier w^eut from house to house in Georgetown, bearing the command of his officer in charge of the troops for the inmates to vacate their homes, as the torch would soon be api)lied. Miss Kitty, with head erect and flashing eyes, re- plied : "I shall not leave; if you burn this house, you burn me with it." This defiant reply being reported to the officer, while some of the houses were alreadv in flames, he came himself to repeat his command. Miss Kitty received him with the same courage, reiterating her resolution not to leave. The young- officer was struck with admiration at the daring of the handsome, high-spirited American damsel, feel- ing that she would keep her word and be immolated if he persisted in his design of a general conflagra- tion. Twice when the attempt was made by British soldiers to fire the house Miss Kitty extinguished the kindling flame. At last, the officer, in deference to her coolness and courage, gave the order to spare the Knight house and the one next to it — both of which are still preserved. In addition to this storv of Miss Kittv Knight's vouthful davs, I was told later bv a friend who knew Miss Kitty Avell (describing her as continuing to wear in her old age a turban in the quaint and stately style of a bygone fashion), that twenty-five years after our war with Great Britain in 1812, an iVmerican gentleman of Kent County, Maryland, traveling in Europe, met the same British officer on the "riviera" who commanded the attack upon Georgetown. 68 History of Kent County, Maryland This officer, learning that the American belonged to Maryland, expressed to him his recollection of the incident of Miss Knight's courage saving lier home from the torch. Learning that she was still living, the officer inquired particularly about her, and sent her his sincere compliments. BALLAD OF THE SASSAFRAS UiVFK. Kitty Knight in Song. By Rosalie Mitchell Schuyler. The beautiful river Sassafras Flows onward in its pride, Between the level fields of Kent And Cecil rolling wide. Fair river, on thy sunny banks Peach orchards spread their bloom. Where red men once chased fallow deer Beneath the harvest moon. Along the creeks and reedy swamps, Where stately cat-tails grow. The furry muskrat makes his home, And lazily caws the crow. The wild ducks seek their feeding place Far from the haunts of men — The water snipe struts proudly free Along the marshy fen. Fish hawks, alert upon their nests, High up a gnarled old tree. Watch, dip, and plunge — a wriggling perch Is caught successfully. There was a time, there was a time — Full four-score years gone by. When on these peaceful banks was heard The sound of musketry. When quiet Georgetown on the hill, And Fredericktown below. Were menaced by a British fleet, A reckless, dreaded foe. History of Kent County, Maryland 69 When loyal sons of Kent arose, A gallant little band. While Cecil, to repel the foes, Stretched forth a helping hand. Then valor struggled hard against The soldiers of the crown, But Cockburn sent his shot and shell Upon the helpless town. Destruction grim, and ruin then, Seemed wrangling in the air, And every heart was beating fast With terror and despair. When suddenly a kerchief white Waved o'er the smoking streets, The cruel guns a moment ceased Aboard the British fleet. A maiden fair, with courage bold, With spirit pure and high. Displayed her flag of truce, and all For poor humanity. She feared not shell, nor British guns, Nor soldier of the king — Her kerchief waved above the smoke. Her voice aloud did ring. "Not for myself I speak," she said, "Though all my lands are lost. But for two orphan children. Whose lives are tempest-tossed." "Spare them their little homes I plead," Her eyes were sparkling bright; They rested on the admiral. And — well! they stopped the fight. Tradition sings a sweet old song, A song of long ago. That Kitty Knight, of Georgetown, Struck then a fatal blow. An officer was vanquished. Not by the battery's raid, But by a dart of Cupid Shot by a fearless maid. The British fleet has sailed away, - Adown the shadowy past; Now, only memories drift along The lovely Sassafras. 70 History of Kent County, Maryland Burning of Georgetown and Fredericktown. May 6, 1813, the streets of Georgetown and Fred- ericktown, her twin sister across the Sassafras, resounded with the tramp of British soldiery and received a baptism of tire. About a mile below the old breastworks at Pearce's Point show where the citizen militia made a vigorous defense to the British soldiers as they rowed up the river, having anchored their ships in the Chesapeake otf the moutb of the Sassafras. The valuation of property destroyed in Georgetown in this battle was as follows : Amos Bagwell Furniture, etc. . . $156.UU Smith & Bagwell, heirs Shoemaker's shops 200.00 Margaret Downes Dwelling, etc. . . . 150.00 Denis Donlevy Apparel, etc 3,744.1.5 Thomas Dollis Furniture, etc.. . . 110.00 Margaret Jackson Money, etc 1,865.75 Arthur Nicholson's heirs Dwelling, etc 350.00 Mary Nicholson Furniture, etc.. . . 150.00 Joseph Jarvis Furniture, etc 67.12 i/o Archibald McNeil House 200.00 Fanny McNeil Furniture, etc. . . 109.87y2 Philip F. Rasin Granary, etc 428.75 Isabelle Taggert ....Furniture, etc 134.56 Robert Usilton Furniture, etc 119.16 Mrs. Willson Dwelling, etc 800.00 William Ireland Stable, carriage house, etc 850.00 Mrs. Bearer Dwelling, etc 850.00 Mrs. Mary Everett Carriage house. . 80.00 Jacob Roads .Old house 40.00 Heirs of Wm. Pope — Tavern House Granary 1,000.00 Miss Staugueses ......Brick dwelling, etc 2,500.00 Arthur Nicholson's heirs Brick dwelling, etc 200.00 History of Kent County, Maryland 71 Isabelle Freeman Dwelling, etc 800.00 Mrs. Mary Henney Store house 250.00 Robt. Elliott Dwelling, etc 300.00 Stepliany Congo Dwelling 150.00 Ann Pearce , Kitchen and store house 150.00 William Jackson Kitchen and store house 500.00 Inois Spuran Dwelling, etc 1,000.00 Heir of Alex. Williamson Dwelling, etc 1,500.00 Total $19,755.81 The two red brick houses which escaped the havoc in Georgetown still stand side by side near the pub- lic road, and are two of the most substantial homes in the little town, and are the only historic land marks left of the original town. The sum total of the property destroyed in Fredericktown was i^l5,8Tl. 071/4, making a total of 135,025.881/4 destroyed by the British. 72 History of Kent County, Maryland CHAPTER VII. Freedom of Religious Thought and Worship. Quakers, Catholics and Protestants Arrive Together and Feel Free to Worshi]) God in Their Oivn Way — Interesting Churches Grotv Up in Old Kent — The Name ^'Protestant EinscopaV First Given to the Church in Chestertown. The little colony which came over from England included Quakers, Catholics and Protestants, all to have equal rights here. The}^ cut down a tree and made a large cross of it, then, kneeling around that cross, they all joined in worship and thanksgiving. This was the beginning of the Christian Church in Kent. Father White was the first priest of the Ctitholics Avho began services in a wigwam donated by Indians. Every one of these ''villagers" living in 30 or 40 log huts and wigwams in the woods en- jo^^ed religious liberty, being the only place in the wide world where such liberty existed. William Claiborne, a member of the Virginia Company, established a trading post at Kent Island, and brought there, in 1632, the Rev. Richard James, who conducted the first services of the Church of England within the territory known as Maryland. Ancient Shrewsbury. On the road between Kennedy ville and Locust Grove, in the upper part of Kent County, stands Shrewsbury Church. The first house was likely built in 1G93. The present house of worship is the History of Kent County, Maryland 73 third built by tlie parishioners, and several years after its erection it was remodeled and beautified; about twenty years ago a tower w^<xii added. While it is the third church that was built on the present site, it is quite probable that the first building was SHREWSBURY P. E. CHURCH, NEAR LOCUST GROVE. Founded 1692. a very small affair and that it became necessary to add to it very soon after the first year of the eighteenth century. After the enlarging of the church it does not appear that any changes in the building were made until the old wooden structure gave way for a more pretentious one said to have seated 700 persons, built in 1729, of brick. This brick church was 74 History of Kent County^ Maryland torn down in 1829 and the present clinrch was built in 1832. There is reason to believe that the very first build- ing erected for public worship within the present bounds of Shrewsbury parish stood on the southern bank of the Sassafras Eiver on "Meeting House Point," on what is now known as Shrewsbury Neck, and was there as earlv as 1680. From 1680 to 1694 the population rapidly in- creased along the south side of the Sassafras, being materially augmented by emigrants from England, who were granted land in this picturesque and fer- tile section of the Province. Roads were cut through the county and the travel, which had been confined to the canoe and shallop, gave way, in a measure, to travel by horse and the old gig or chaise. Upon the laying out of the parish it became necessary to find a central location for the place of worship, and it was for this reason that the present site of Shrewsbury was selected. The ''Archives of Marvland" show that, "at a court held for Cecil County the 22d day of Novem- ber in the fourth year of their Majesties' Eeign, etc., Anno Dom 1692," the following Commissioners w^ere present: Capt. Charles James, Col. Casperus Her- man, Mr. William Ward, Mr. John James, Sr., Mr. Humphrey Tilton, Mr. Henry Eigg and Mr. Wil- liam Elmes. There were four more of the Commissioners who did not attend this meeting, at which the important business of dividing the county into parishes was consummated. History of Kent County, Maryland 75 Two Parishes Are Laid Out. When the ''Act of Establishment'- was passed by the Assembly those of the Protestants who were ''Freeholders/' together with the Commissioners of Cecil Conntv, met Xovember 22d, 1G92, at the conrt- house on the Elk River and -laid out and divided Cecil County into two parishes. That is to say, one for Worton and South Sassafras Hundreds, and the other for North Sassafras, Bohemia and Elk Hundreds." Worton and South Sassafras (afterwards Shrews- bury) parish Avas bounded on the north and west by the Sassafras Eiver and the Chesapeake Bay and verv probablv extended as far south as Worton ft- X ft/ Creek. The southern boundarv is vet unknown, but ft- e, / doubtless a line drawn in an easterly direction from Worton Creek to the Chester River, to the vicinity of the present site of Chestertown, divided this parish from that of St. Paul's in Kent. On March IS, 1697-8, a petition was sent to the Assembly at Annapolis asking for a better division of the two parishes ; and on April 3, 1698, an Act of Assembly (Chapter 5) was passed authorizing the running of the division line between St. Paul's and Shrewsbury parishes nearly parallel to the old line, but about three miles farther to the north. This latter line began at the crossing of a branch of Morgan's Creek east of William Bateman's house and runs to the head of a branch of a creek issuing out of the bav called Churn Creek. Bv reference to the land record of Kent County, we find that the line began where the main road from Chestertown 76 History of Kent County, Maryland to Kennedy ville no AY crosses the stream at the foot of Goose Hill. From there it ran northwest to the stream that crosses the road leading from Hanes- Yille to Still Pond, jnst south of where Christ Church "I. U." now stands. This line also serYed as the southern boundary of Cecil County until, by Act of Assembly (Chapter 3) in 1706, the Sassafras RiYer was made the southern boundary of that county. Prior to this time the present county of Kent was diYided into parts of two counties, the upper part being in Cecil and the lower a XJart of the old ''County of Kent." The resi- dents were to attend court of the farther side of the Chester and Sassafras RiYers. On June 8, 1692, the folloAYing petitions were sent to the Assembly : "A Petition preferred by the inhabitants of Kent County on the north side of Chester RiYer praj^ing that if the Island of Kent be separated from them into a countY of itself a reasonable number of the inhabitants of the south side of the Sassafras RiYer may be added to them ;" also : "A Petition by the inhabitants of the south side of tlie Sassafras RiYer in Cecil County setting forth that their court being held on the north side of the said riYer to their great damage, incouYenience and hazard in bad weather, pray, therefore, to be joined to Kent County in the manner as themselYCS the inhabitants of Kent County on the north side of Chester RiYer haYC prayed." Although these petitions were made in 1692, it was the misfortune of these people to haYe to endure the hardships for more than 14 years, the line between the two counties remaining unchanged until History of Kent County, Maryland 77 in 1706 Gov. John Seymour induced the Assembly to act. It is quite possible that when the two parishes of St. Paul's and Shrewsbury were first laid out, the Commissioners haying the matter in charge ran the line from Worton Creek to the Chester Eiyer, because this may haye been the dividing line (prior to 1674) bietween Baltimore County on the north and the ''County of Kent" on the south. The ''Archives of Maryland," Browne, Vol. 2, page 318, state that at the session of the Assembly on Tues- day, October 17, 1671, "This House will consent to the Bill of Ferries, provided that a ferry may be kept — over Chester River from Baltimore County," thus indicating that the Chester River was a boundary of Baltimore County, and it is also very probable that this has reference to the ferry that crossed the river at the present site of Chestertown. 78 History of Kent County, Maryland CHAPTER VIII. St. Paul's Church, Kent County, Maryland. Built ill 1113, It Is the Oldest Building in the State Used Continuously as a Place of Worship— The ^Vestry House'' Was Built in 1116. utr. Previous to the foimdation of St. Paul's parish, there is evidence of a church building on Eastern Neck in 1GU3. It is supposed to have been some- where near what was known as Xew Yarmouth. The town of New Yarmouth was built upon land purchased of Major Thomas Ringgold, b}^ a man named Tovev. Tovev bought a hundred acres of the tract of land called Huntingfield, which is stretched across and to the south of Eastern Neck. In 1838 the farms of that tract belonged to George W. Wilson, Esq., and others. Visitors to this locality found the remains of a wharf, covered with rubbish, and also manv stones which were not native to Maryland, but which had been brought in ships, as ballast, from England; said ships returned to Eng- land having tobacco as chief cargo. The stones had been used to pave the approach to the wharves, and for other i:>urposes. In 1838 Thomas Browne owned this land. New Yarmouth was, in its dav, a com- mercial center, and a port of customs entry; the court sat there, and ther-e the King's justices met. In a short time, and to meet the convenience of the northern trend of the settlers, and when the parish of St. Paul's was founded by law, the church site was moved from this New Yarmouth locality to History of Kent County, Maryland 79 the place it now occupies at the head of ^'Broadnox Creek." The first vestry meeting- of St. Paul's Parish was held in the house of Mr. Thomas Joce, of New Yar- mouth, on or immediately after 30th January, 1693. ST. PAUL'S, BUILT IN 1713. IS THE OLDEST BUILDING IN THE STATE USED CONTINUOUSLY AS A PLACE OF WORSHIP. THE "VESTRY HOUSE," BUILT IN 1776, IS AT THE LEFT. The early vestry meetings w^ere held in the houses of Mr. Michael Miller, of Lankford's Bay, Mr. Thomas Joce, of New Yarmouth, and of Mr. Simon Wilmer. After several efforts on April 15, 1695, the Vestry agreed with Mr. Daniel Norris to build a church 40 feet long and 24 feet wide. The church was built upon a parcel of land belonging to Michael Miller, being part of the land called Arcadia lying at the 80 History op Kent County, Maryland head of ^'Broadnox Creek," for 2,000 pounds of tobacco. It would appear, then, that in 1707 there were two buildings or churches, one built as a Parish Church of St. Paurs, on ^'Michael Miller's land," the other built "adjacent to the Parish Church of St. Paul's," on two acres from Charles Kinggold for which he got 500 pounds of tobacco. But of the church before mentioned as having been built by Mr. Daniel Norris, it was not finished according to contract; for the Yestry sued Mr. Nor- ris for his unfulfilled contract, and on ]yovembei' 27, 1707, obtained judgment against him for 4,073 pounds tobacco and 299 pounds for costs of suit, though he (Mr. Daniel Norris) gave a receipt on 6tli February, 1696, in full for x)aynient for building the church. May 10, 1711, Eev. Alexander Williamson, an Orthodox minister of the Church of England, was sent certified and recommended b}' the Eight Hon. and Rev. Father in God, Henry, Lord Bishop of London, to officiate within this province. At a meeting of the Vestry at the Parish Church of St. Paul's in Kent County, August 27, 1711: Rev. Mr. Alex. Williamson, Mr. Wm. Scott, Capt. Edw'd Scott, Mr. Wm. Harris, Capt. Jas. Harris, Mr. Wm. Frisby, Sr., contracted with Mr. Jas. Har- ris, as undertaker, to build a church for the use of this Parish of St. Paul's, in Kent County, 40 feet long in the clear and 30 feet wide in the clear ; to be 16 feet from the ground. Mr. James Harris, William Pott and James Smith gave bond to the Vestrymen in one hundred and History of Kent County, Maryland 81 fifty thousand pounds of good, sound, merchantable leaf of tobacco, and cask to contain the same, for the completion of their contract. The Vestrymen gave bond to Mr. James Harris for 140,000 pounds of good, sound, merchantable leaf tobacco, on behalf of St. Paul's Parish, for the due performance of their agreement. At a meeting of the Vestry on 2d February, 1713, Capt. James Harris having complied with his obligation to the Vestry about building the Church, made his delivery of the church and took up his bond. A tax of ten pounds of tobacco on each tax-payer was continu- ally levied each year, pursuant to an Act of Assem- bly, for repairing, beautifying, or building churches. In 1717, 20th November, the Vestry of St. Paul's Parish met in the court house in Chester Town. The Vestry House was built in 1776, for 20,000 pounds of tobacco. 27th October, 1800, the Kev. George Dashiel held services at St. Paul's only every other Sunday; but what he did, or where he went, on the other Sundays, is not said. On 27th October, 1800, there occurs the first mention of dollars, where a necessary 50 dollars is to be raised to do the repairs of the church that must be done immedi- ately. 11th May, 1801, Simon Wilmer is elected as lay delegate to the convention at Baltimore. 27th May, 1801, William Voss rented the Vestry House for a school house at three pounds per annum, Mr. Voss to keep the house in repair and mend at all times any broken windows. In 1812 St. Paul's Church was used as a barracks for the troops, during some time of the war of that date with England. Captain Scott, who was mater- 82 History of Kent County, Maryland nal grandfather to Mrs. George Jessop (nee Maria Harris), Avas quartered there. 26th November, 1843, the church was repaired. It was consecrated to the service of Almighty God by the Eight Rev. William Rollinson Whittingham, Bishop of the Diocese of Maryland. The Rev. Thomas B. Flower, Rector; Thomas Miller, Wm. B. Wilmer, Jamjes P. Gale, James F. Browne, James Browne, Horatio Beck, x\lex. W. Ringgold, Henry W. Carvill, Vestrymen; J. N. Gordon, Sr., Register; Thomas Miller, Esq., Delegate to Convention. January 10, 1845, G. C. Griffith was made sole supervisor of the cemetery. Ordered that no separate inclosure should be made for any grave. At this time St. Paul's owned a slip of land of an acre, more or less, lying between the main road and Dr. Houston's land, beginning at a boundary of Houston's land, on the Bellair road, and running on with Houston's land to the Rock Hall road. Said slip of land was afjpropriated for a Sexton's House. The Yestry voted in 1878 that it meet once a month regularly and any member not attending or even fifteen minutes late, to be fined |1. That Vestry meant business! Pews were first let by lot, then in 1862 the rent amounted to nearly |500. From 1862 they were sold to the highest bidder. Pews were made free on the 1st of May, 1870, and again levied in 1872. Since 1887 it has been supported by voluntary con- tributions and subscriptions. History of Kent County, Maryland 83 Old St. Paul's Cemetery. Between nature's grand provision and art's care- ful supply, this cemetery of St, Paul's is second to none for quiet grandeur and exquisite beauty. It is situated on the summit of a gentle slope, with the sacred spot at l u. church— big oak. a pretty, bright stream of water at the foot of the hill, while the dear old church, at its brow, rises from its 200 years of foundation in a call of peace and rest with God. Gi'^at giant oaks make the scene majestically beautiful from the hand of nature, and art has done her part in promoting most sweet loveliness. The tree tops of the great giant oak trees tower their lofty heads as reaching for the skies, and stretch out their tops as fingers ever pointing heavenward. Their great lower limbs reach out 84 History of Kent County, Maryland their wondrous length in unusual size and strength, as though topical of the great loving arm, of the Good God, stretched out over His own Sacred Acre, in merciful care of His faithful departed holy dead. Hosts of evergreen and other trees and shrubs are in irregular beaut}- all around the grounds. The graves are all neat and well-cared for, the walks clean and hard. Flowers in abundance adorn the scene and bright green grass everywhere colors and closely covers the whole cemetery. For many years it was under the managment of the late Thomas W. Skirven and now his son occupies the same position. The oldest stone-marked grave has inscribed on its foot-stone : Here lies ye body of Daniel Coley. He departed this life Oct. ye 20, 112^. Cut by John Godfrey. The head-stone is as follows : Behold & see now here I lye As you are now so once was I As I am now so must you be Therefore prepare to follow me. The next oldest has : "Here Ives ve Bodv of Even Evans. He departed this life June ye 30, 1735." The next is of Benjamin Vickers, Esq., 1790. There are a number of very old graves, Avith rough head and foot-stones, but which bear no inscription at all. (The Rev. Chris. T. Denroche, rector of this church, 1893, issued a Souvenir History of the Parish of St. Paul's for the Bi-Centennial Celebration of its foundation in 1693, to whom we are indebted for much of the above informa- tion.) History of Kent County, Maryland 85 CHAPTER IX. Emmanuel Protestant Episcopal Church — Chestertown. The Act of the General Assembly of Maryland, through which the present Episcopal Church was erected, was passed in ITGS, with an appropriation attached, in addition to five hundred pounds in cur- rency subscribed by the people for the purpose of erecting a chapel in Chestertown, in place of the old church. For greater convenience, the act read that it should be erected on a part of the public court house ground, 90 feet on High street and 120 feet on Cross street. The provision in former acts not proving sufficient, another act was x>assed in 1770, assessing three hundred and sixty pounds currency on the parish, to be applied by the trustees for the finishing of the chapel and enclosing the burying ground. In June, 1781, the war being over, the Rev. Dr. Smith, the President of Washington College, called a meeting of the Episcopal clergymen who could be found in different parts of the country, to meet at Washington College, for the purpose of organiza- tion; but on account of the small attendance noth- ing was effected. Another meeting was called and due notice served on the clergy to meet in the chapel at Chestertown the following October. At this meeting the name Protestant Episcopal Church was adopted as the name of the church, under which name the convention met in May of the following year at Bordentown, N. J. It had previously been 86 History of Kent County, Maryland known as the Church of England. Emmanuel Church is the local name. The rectory, on Queen street, was purchased in March, 1866, of John Greenwood, for |3,500. The present church building, of itself, has an .^^^SMfe.^ EMMANUEL P. E. CHURCH, CHESTERTOWN, MD., BEFORE IMPROVEMENTS ADDED. interesting history. The brick of which it is con- structed came from England, and the mechanical laying of the walls — peculiar to the olden time — is an interesting feature of the building today. This building was at first considerably taller than at present, and had a belfry at the west front, in which was held the bell which served for so many pur- poses of public utility as well as for the call to church worship. In 1881 the building was thoroughly remodeled inside and a choir building History of Kent County, Maryland 87 erected on the site of the robing room. The former interior had galleries on three sides, with choir space and organ in the western end. The pulpit was located on the northern side and the main entrance was on High street. H. M. Stuart was the contrac- tor for the improvements, and his most important work was to lower the walls, which he did, without tearing off the roof. The Vestry at that time was as follows : Geo. B. Westcott, Dr. W. H. Meeteer,, W. N. E. Wickes, Joseph A. Wickes, Wm. S. Walker, G. W. T. Per- kins, James A. Pearce. Wardens — N. G. Westcott, Thos. S. Wickes. The following comprise the pres- ent Vestry : James A. Pearce, i^llan Harris, E. F. Perkins, George B. Westcott, Lewin W. Wickes, Wm. W. Beck, C. E. Crane, T. G. Wroth. Dr. Henry B. Martin is rector, succeeding Dr. S. C. Koberts in February, 1900. Dr. Roberts, who received the call here in Decem- ber, 1871, had a continuous pastorate of twenty-nine years. Some of Dr. Roberts' predecessors were Par- sons Jones, Gordon, Bradley, J. R. Hubard, A. A. Curtis (afterwards a Bishop of the Catholic Church), E. H. C. Goodwin and others. A splendid addition to this church has been built during the rectorship of Dr. Martin. This addition is used as a Sunday School room and chapel, and has all modern conveniences, such as kitchen, gas ranges, etc. A new bell was also bought and placed in a new tower. 88 History of Kent County, Maryland CHAPTER X. The Friends^ Meeting House. A part of Kent Comity known as Quaker Neck was named in honor of the industrious and even- tempered Friends or Quakers. Among these early pilgrims were the Trews, Avho settled in Quaker Neck in 1668. The representatives of this "colony" now living are: Mr. Bartus Trew and his family, in Quaker Neck ; Thomas W. Trew, of Pomona ; Miss Josephine Trew, of Chestertown; Mr. Joseph Trew, near Kennedyville ; Mrs. Virgil Kendall and sister, of Chestertown, and Mrs. T. Benjamin Durding, of Rock Hall. The original dwelling was a log cabin on the shore of Lankford's Bay on the farm now owned by Mr. Bartus Trew. The Trew family, or at least the largest part thereof, has lived in Quaker and Broad Necks ever since the establishment of the original homestead. They have impressed their in- dividuality upon the community in which they have lived for years, and the history of Quaker Neck, all that pertains to its development in all walks of life, could not be accurately written without the inclu- sion of the great part which the Trew family has played in that development. Mr. Bartus Trew is the oldest living member of the family today. The old meeting house which stood for so many years at the fork of the road has been torn away, but the cemetery was used for some time later. This Friends' Meeting House was the center of all re- ligious and social activity for many miles, but had to give way to the march of time. History of Kent County, Maryland 89 The commodious brick mansion in which Mr. Trew has lived for these many years was built in 1781, and is, therefore, one of the oldest landmarks in the county. Mr. Trew has in his home a grand- father's clock which was brought to this country in THE FRIENDS' MEETING HOUSE AT THE OLD QUAKER BURYING GROUND, NEAR LYNCH. 1G68. It is in excellent running order today. There are also in his possession sheets made from flax grown on the farm and blankets made of wool grown on the sheep and spun on the looms in the home. These relics are precious heirlooms, and are in a remarkable state of preservation. All these and more of the links that bind the past to the pres- ent mav be seen at the old homestead. 90 History of Kent County, Maryland Another landmark of Kent is the Quaker Meeting House at Lynch. John Lynch^ a Quaker, once lived where the village is now, and the meeting house stood on land once owned by him. The Quakers named this the "Cecil Meeting," because at the time (1698) it Avas erected or established it was within THE BARTUS TREW HOME IN QUAKER NECK— 1781. the bounds of Cecil County. It was a branch of the Friends' Yearly Meeting established at Phila- delphia by the great Quaker, William Penn, and numbered many of Kent's best families as its mem- bers. From its records the following names have been taken : Turner, Dawson, Corse, Alston, Brown, Thomas, George, Hodges, Atkinson, Trew, Maslin, Norris, Simmonds, Parrott, Bowers, Easin, Neal, 1<" History of Kent County, Maryland 91 Gale, Beck, Jones and Lamb. From this last-named family came that great educator of the past decade — - Eli Lamb — known to hundreds of men and women as "Cousin Eli." The early settlers of this neighborhood were: St. Leager Codd, William Frisby, William, Daniel and Gideon Pearce, Edward Scott, George Warner, Charles James, George Oldfield, James Hepburn, James Wroth, Edward Blay, John and Edward Beck, Nathaniel Styles, George Skirven and Philip Kasin. Later came Matthews Howard, Nathaniel Kennard, Cornelius Comegys, John Wethered, Charles Tilden, George Medford and many others whose names appear on the register of Shrewsbury Parish or the land records of the county. 92 History of Kent County, Maryland CHAPTER XI. Old "I. U." AND Still Pond — The First Church IN WORTON. Properlj' belonging to this county of Kent is old Christ Church at "I. U./' built in 1765, at the head of Churn Ci^ek, within whose walls have wor- shipped men and women whose names are familiar to all. I. U. Church in Worton takes its name from initials found on a large boundary stone near the church. In early times the natives made a "J" like an ^'I/' so that the letters are no doubt "J. U.," and may stand for John, Jim or Jonas Ute, Usilton, Urie or some other early resident of old Kent. The Still Pond M. E. Church is probably the oldest continuously organized Methodist Society on the Del-Marvia Peninsula. The original edifice of which the present is the successor Avas erected some time during the Revolutionary War. Bishop As- bury, the pioneer organizer of Methodism, estab- lished a preaching place here in 1772. The present pastor is Ransom P. Nichols. The trustees are: F. H. Cornelius, A. J. Hackett, S. G. Rosebery, C. P. Norris, R. D. Moore, F. B. Harper, L. A. Ford, J. T. Baxter, R. G. Warren, J. N. Bennett, W. L. Ford, J. W. Clark, W. H. Fogwell. The name of the town — Still Pond — where this church is located, takes its name from "Still Pond Creek," whose name is ascribed to a very deep pond at its source which is said to have never been frozen I. U. CHURCH. NEAR CATT'S CORNER. IN WORTON. 94 History of Kent County, Maryland over. This tradition may be taken for what it is worth, but in the laud records of early times, as well as on the map of Maryland in 1673 by the famous Augustine Herman, of Bohemia, the name of this creek is spelled ''Steelpone" Creek. The First Church in Worton. Prior to 1825, as far as we can learn, there was no established place of worship in Worton. On August 5 an acre of land was purchased from William Tay- lor and wife for the sum of |50, on which to erect a church for the Protestant Episcopal denomination. The church was called ''Parson Handv's Church," in honor of Rev. G. D. S. Handy, a Protestant Epis- copal clergyman, who lived in the commuuit}^ and who was its first, and, as far as known, its only rector. This church afterwards became St. James'. The records show that on June 21, 1832, St. James' Church and lot were deeded to the Methodist Protestants on the payment of the sum of five dol- lars. The trustees at this time were Francis Lamb, Emory Edwards, Joseph Kennard, William Copper and David Arthur. There were but few members and a small congregation. Eev. J. J. Murray, who was sent as an assistant to Rev. Isaac Webster, savs : ''Kent Circuit then embraced Chestertown, Welsch's Chapel School House, above Urieville, Quaker Neck and Wesley Chapel. St. James' at that day was one of the least hopeful of our appointments. I cannot recall the name of one male member who belonged to the class. My first visit to St. James' was on Sat- urday in April or early in May. The country, as I History of Kent County, Maryland 95 drove out in my sulky from Chestertown, seemed poor and neglected. Fields without fences, over- grown with sedge, dwarf pines, cedars and weeds, and other indications of land overworked and left in a state of nature appeared where the pleasing evi- dences of culture, thrift and comfort are now seen. The congregations were small." In the midst of wheat harvest Dr. Murray held a revival, which resulted in a number of conversions and additions to the church. This marked a new era in its history. St. James' became a live, aggres- sive church, and has remained so to the present day. In 1853 Dr. Murray returned to Kent Circuit as superintendent, and during the second year of his pastorate purposed the erection of a new church. The response on the part of the people was so prompt and encouraging that work was begun at once. Winter came and found the building unfin- ished. The following spring Dr. Murray was suc- ceeded by Eev. John Koberts, under whose pastorate the church was completed and dedicated. The building committee was Messrs. John Gale, Isaac Parsons, William Vannort, Robert Nicholson and John T. Skirven. The contractors were George R. Reed and Hyland P. Smith. The dedicatory serv- ice was preached by Rev. John S. Reese. The present pastor is Rev. H. B. Jester. Samuel Vannort is the oldest living member, his name having been enrolled in October, 1856. He was the superintendent of the Sunday School for many years. The present super- intendent is Robert G. Nicholson. 96 History of Kent County, Maryland The Presbyterian Church in Kent. Dr. W. S. Maxwell says: "The Georgetown and Old JBrick (near E. B. Pennington's, Sr.) Presby- terian Churches were built in Colonial days. As Upper Kent was a part of Cecil County at that time the records are no doubt at Elkton. Those churches owned a lot in Chestertown, afterward used as a burjing ground b}^ colored people. It was on the road leading out to the Dr. Anderson prop- erty. The Old Brick was used by the Methodist Protestants some time preyious to 1860, when Key. William Megee became pastor and they had a good congregation for a number of years. The church was torn down and material used in erecting the present Presbyterian church in Kennedyyille, Ayhich was dedicated in 1875. Georgetown Church was built in 1872. The Methodist Episcopal Church. Fifteen years after the Christmas conference, in 1784, the Methodists of Kent, who had increased wonderfully in numbers and influence, especially in Chestertown and the region round about, resolyed to construct a house of worship in Chestertown. In endeayoring to secure a grant of land on the public square in a day before this stone of Methodism, which the builders rejected, had become the head of the corner, great opposition was manifested by the established church against the project. It was only by calling up the bill in a night session, when many of its opposers were absent, that its passage was History of Kent County, Maryland 97 secured. Tlie enemies of the new church endeavored to avenge themselves when in a majority on a com- mittee to apportion tlie ground. The smallest al- lotment possible was made on the western part of the public square, where was erected the first Metho- dist Church in Chestertown. The building stands yet, opposite the Voshell House, owned by Harry Thomas, son of Dr. Sjuiiuel W. Thomas, and occu- pied by the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Co., fraternal orders, John D. IJrie, Esq., and Dr. Hughes. Within these historic walls the voice of the great apostle of Methodism, the tireless Asbury, first Bishop of the Church, had been heard, as well as scores of the illustrious fathers of the church. Chestertown then became the center of the great Kei^t Circuit, and manv noted events in the church's history occurred here. But amid all the church grew in numbers and power. A parsonage was built and a strong organization formed. In 1868 the church in Chestertown felt that its welfare would be en- hanced by being made a station, and it was set off from the old Kent Circuit, of Avhich it was the head. The interest of the circuit in the parsonage was bought for |2,000, and all arrangements in the separation were amicable and satisfactory to all concerned. About 1870 the need of a new church edifice was realized and preparations for building made. The late Thomas W. Eliason, Sr., who had been a pillar of the church for vears, was chairman of the build f 7 ing committee. 98 History of Kent County, Maryland Miss T. Bradshaw, a faithful member of the church, bequeathed a legacy of |8,000 toward the construction of the church, which was the nucleus of the building fund. 'Squire John N. Usilton, a prominent Methodist, since deceased, contributed the present beautiful site, and the present church edifice was soon completed, at a cost of about 120,000. It was dedicated to the worship of Al- mighty God, free of debt, in 1877, and in 1878 the Wilmington Conference convened in the new edifice. A few years ago a pipe organ was erected and dedi- cated at a cost of about |2,000. The present pastor is T. F. Beauchamp, having been sent here at the conference of 1916, succeeding Dr. L. E. Barrett, who served as pastor seven years. The M. E. parsonage was deeded to Benjamin Price, Edw. Einggold, Thomas Stevens, Thomas Baker, A. M. Merritt, Nathaniel Wiley and William Hayne, trustees, by James Mansfield, on March 9, 1844, and included the whole lot through to Cross street. In November, 1868, this parsonage was deeded to the church for |2,000. This building was torn down in the spring of 1916, and at this writing a new brick structure is under contract — Walter T. Pippin, contractor and builder. It will cost about |5,000. The Board of Stewards are: Joel E. Clements, W. B. Copper, I. R. Leaverton, J. C. Davis, J. T. An- thony, M. A. Toulson, M. E. Newsome, C. H. Jeffer- son, W. C. Peregoy, Thomas S. Bordley, Charles S. Hill, J. B. Mclntyre, Prof. Mark Creasy, George R. Rouse. Trustees: T. W. Eliason, Prest., James History of Kent County, Maryland 99 Brice, H. H. Klinefelter, M. A. Toulson, John 0. Davis, H. E. Perkins, Prof. J. L. Smyth. Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Father Villager was the first Catholic priest to visit Chestertown. He would write notices and the members would meet him at Mr. Thomas P. Dixon's, near town. As the congregation grew a larger place of meeting became necessary, and Miss Josie Re- Due's schoolroom was utilized. For about twenty- five years Father Villager served the people, being succeeded bv Father Henche, who made occasional visits. Then in 1871 came Father Bradford, who bought the present church property from Miss Lizzie Voss, for |2,800. The old brick house was torn away and the present church edifice erected, costing |9,000. Mr. Samuel L. Usilton's property was pur- chased for a parsonage at a cost of $1,600, and today a fine rectory, costing |5,000, is the home of Father Urner, the present pastor. This is one of the finest church properties on the Shore. Christ Methodist Protestant Church. The first movement toward the organization of the M. P. Church in Chestertown was inaugurated July 13, 1827, at which eTohn Constable presided and James Harris acted as secretarv. In 1829 this or- ganization of sixteen persons erected its first church here, under the pastorate of Dr. John S. Reese. This old whitewashed brick church was built off the main street, in a quiet location. In 1859, during Dr. 1fidPR|:^A 100 History of Kent County, Maryland Daniel W. Bates' ministry, the old white building was torn down and a new one erected of a more modern character. The building was dedicated on January 30, 1859. Rev. Dr. John J. Murray preached the morning sermon and a big revival followed. In 1878, during the pastorate of Rev. S. A. Hoblitzell, the building was thoroughly repaired, and, with a small frame chapel adjoining (now Hicks' black- smith shop), first built on Queen street and then re- moved to Cross street, the church was well equipped. In 1887 a lot on High street w^as bought for |3,150, and a meeting held to raise money for a new church. Rev. W. R. Graham was pastor. A building com- mittee, composed of the following gentlemen, was appointed: J. K. Aldridge, J. W. Chapman, J. W. Lambert, W. B. Usilton, T. R. Hubbard, W. J. Van- nort, T. W. Russell, S. F. Smith, J. Harr^^ Simpers and William Archibald, Jr. The result of this com- mittee's work is before the Avorld, the total cost of the improvement being |28,517.55. Milton Baker was the contractor and builder, and for years has been sexton of the church, caring for it like a mother would her child. The bell was given by the "Little Folks," and cost |350. The big pipe organ was given by the "Young People's Association," and cost |2,500. The twelve windows in the audience room are beautiful memorials of jeweled cathedral glass. These windows are in memory of M. Amanda Chap- man, Marceline A. Chapman, Emeline E. Frazier, Ann Rebecca Wickes, Elizabeth Walker, Milicent Arthur, Katie Plummer, Daniel Collins, John T. Dodd, Capt. Richard Baker, John Constable, Wil- liam Vannort, C. D. Vannort, David Arthur, Wil- History of Kent County, Maryland 101 liam Bacchus. The central front window is a me- morial to the late Senator George Vickers; another, ''Our Dead" ; another in honor of Superintendent William B. Usilton, and one in the pulpit for the pastor. Dr. W. E. Graham. Rev. J. M. Gill was pastor here in 1896, succeeded by Dr. D. L. Green- "r^^C^ P^-, TT 4." IE OLD PUBLIC SCHOOL AND M. P. CHURCH. NOW ENTERPRISE OFFICE, CROSS STREET, CHESTERTOWN. field in 1901; then came Dr. F. T. Little in 1907, and Dr. Graham returned in 1913, followed bv the present pastor, Eev. J. L. Ward. An elegant par- sonage was erected on the site of the old house, corner of Queen street and Maple avenue, in 1896, by W. S. and A. M. Gulp, at a cost of |3,800. The stewards of the church are : Lewin S. Fowler, J. W. Lambert, C. S. Smith, Charles L. Dodd, J. W. Chap- man, W. W. Hubbard, James W. Crouch, William A. Wheatley, J. D. Bacchus, Fred G. Usilton, A. M. Gulp, Robert Huey, Charles N. Satterfield, William 102 History of Kent County, Maryland A. Burke, J. F. Wheatley, William B. Usilton, Jr., Walter U. Lusby, Ralph Barnett, J. W. Russell, Wil- liam Yansant, T. D. Bowers, C. C. Jones. The M. P. Conference met here in 1838, 1857, 1871, and in April, 1890, presided over by Isaac Webster, William Collier, D. E. Reese and W. M. Strayer, re- spectively. An interesting fact in connection with the large Sunday School of this church is the super- intendency of the late William B. Usilton, who served for more than forty years. His son, Fred G., was elected to succeed him in 1910. Colored Methodist Churches. The pride shown by the colored people in having worthy places in Kent in which to worship is strik- ingly presented in Chestertown. Janes M. E. Church, located on Cross street, built in 1915, cost over 112,000, while the A. M. E. Church, built on College street, cost about |10,000. Both are of brick and well equipped. These buildings replaced frame structures erected in the early fifties. First Sunday School in Chestertown. A female Sunday School was organized in 1816, with twenty-seven scholars. It was the first Sun- day School in the town, its church connection not being ascertained. History of Kent County, Maryland 103 CHAPTER XII. ScJiools, Puhlic and Private — Founding of Washing- ton College. The Hon. James Alfred Pearce, former Judge oL' the Court of Appeals, has always felt a warm in- GRAMMAR SCHOOL, CHESTERTOWN. terest in the cause of education. After leaving Princeton he was a tutor at Washington College, and for more than thirty years secretary of its Board of Visitors, and now President, succeeding Hon. Jos. A. Wickes. For twelve years, from 1879 to 1890, he 104 History of Kent County, Maryland was a member of the School Board for Kent County, serving with Sewell Hepburn the elder, and Cor- nelius J. Scott, and later w^ith Richard W. Jones. In "looking back" at the School History of Kent, and more especially of Chestertown, he says : ''If any records were kept by the authorities in the early daj-s of Kent County, none have been pre- served, and the onl}^ available source of information is personal recollection and tradition. My own earliest distinct recollection of the Primarv School, as it was then called in Chestertown, dates back to about 1852. It was kept in an old two-story brick dwelling standing on the site of Davis & Satterfield's present establishment. It was dilapidated and for- lorn beyond description, both in itself and its im- mediate surroundings. The teacher, for there was but one, was Squire James Graves, a former sea cap- tain, whose qualifications, though limited, I am sure were all that his salary could justly demand. I was never a pupil there, but tradition says his discipline was strict and severe, and this was a period when it was commonly held that the rod was the most efficient means of lifting the veil of ignorance, by which was meant the learning to read, write and cipher, with a little geography. There was no pre- tense of systematic grading and little attempt at classification. The schools in each county were gov- erned by local laws. In Kent County there were five trustees elected for each school district by the white miale taxables of the district, and these trus- tees directed the methods of instruction, employed and discharged the teachers. CHESTERTOWN HIGH SCHOOL— 1915. EDESVILLE PUBLIC SCHOOL. 106 History of Kent County, Maryland a" •I am informed by one of the older citizens of the town that he was a pupil under three teachers in this school before Captain Graves, viz., William S. Greenwood, Simon Wickes and Jacob Brown, all of which taught in the house which stood where the house now occupied by Clifton L. Jarrell stands, but my own recollection begins with Captain Graves. After a number of years he was followed by Charles T. Ireland. Next came James M. Vickers, and after him in succession, as principals with one or more assistants. Professors Hanna, Montgomery, J. W. Russell, McBeth, McQuay, Long, William M. Slay, Vickers again, Peterson, McNeil, Fallowfield, Ebaugh, Topping, Smyth and Creasy. "The old system I have mentioned continued until the Act of 1865, creating a uniform system of edu- cation throughout the State, out of which has come the present law, under which great advances w^re made in methods of instruction, in numbers and qualifications of teachers, and in buildings and equipment. But some of the teachers in the old schoolhouse were men of sterling qualities, from which some of our best citizens received their only schooling. Indeed, it should be remembered that some of the most distinguished instructors of the country were teachers in these early schools, notably Professor Simon Newcomb, of Harvard University, the great mathematician and astronomer, who, in 1853 and 1854, was the teacher of the primary school at Massey, in this county. "About 1867 Jesse K. Hines and I, with another whose name now escapes me, were the district trus- tees, and under our direction the long one-story History of Kent County, Maryland 107 brick building containing three rooms was erected by John T. Dodd on the site of the old house; a great improvement on the latter, but wholly inade- quate both in plan and accommodations. A few years later a large two-story frame addition was ROCK HALL HIGH SCHOOL— 1915. made to the north end of the brick building, and later still, the Methodist Protestant Church, now the home of the Enterprise^ was bought and added to the ill assorted group of buildings. "In 1901 the elegant Grammar School was erected by A. M. Culp on the Vickers-Hurtt lot on High street, at a cost of |15,000. The Commission com- prised Wilbur Eliason, J. W. Lambert, William B. Usilton, J. K. Aldridge and M. A. Toulson. 108 History of Kent County, Maryland "In 1915 the new High School was erected on Washington Avenue at a cost of |3,700 for lot and 116,800 for building. A. M. Gulp was the contractor and builder. The building committee was Messrs. Curtis E. Crane, Thomas G. Wroth, Eben F. Perkins, Professor J. L. Smyth and Charles S. Smith. HOME OF HON. W. W. BECK, FORMERLY USED AS A SCHOOL. "The history of the school since the Act of 1865, and especially from the time of Thomas B. Long, has been a steady progress upw^ard. It is a far cry from the meagre, shabby quarters in which James Graves and his little flock toiled and struggled with each other more than sixty years ago, to the ample and well-equipped institutions." The present Superintendent is Professor Jefferson L. Smyth. Professor Mark Creasy is the Principal of the High School, with these assistants: Misses History op Kent County, Maryland 109 Nettie Gooding, Mamie Carroll, Barbara Willis, Susie Roberts ; Miss Nellie Waters, Principal Com- mercial Department; Miss Annie Copper, Domestic Science; Professor Owen C. Blades, Manual Train- ing. Miss Fannie Stuart is Principal of the Gram- mar School, with these assistants : Misses Barbara Anthony, Edith Harley, Rose Duyer, Emma H. Davis, Louisa Urie and Ida Smith. Large, modern, well equipped buildings were erected in 1915 at Betterton, Millington, Kennedy- ville and Rock Hall. The building committees were : Betterton — Jefferson L. Smyth, Arthur H. Brice, Howard F. Owens, W. Clarence Crew and Harry Willis. Millington — J. L. Smyth, John P. Ahern, Joseph Mallalieu, Charles M. Hurtt, R. E. Fedde- man. Kennedyville — J. L. Smyth, William S. Hur- lock, Harry J. Hill, Edgar R. Pennington, and John Medders. Rock Hall — C. Frank Wheatley, Marion T. Miller, J. L. Smyth, James A. Casey and T. B. Durding. Provision was made in 1916 for building a new school at Galena ; committee — Dr. E. A. Scott, Samuel G. Caldwell, Ervin L. Dempsey, John Quinn and J. L. Smith. Also one at Fairlee; committee — William G. Smyth, T. H. Morris Bram- ble, Dr. Frank Smith, Harry C. Willis, J. L. Smyth. A colored school in Chestertown Avas also provided for. In 1853 the residence now occupied by Ex-Senator William) W. Beck on Water street was occupied by Mr. Bassford as a seminary. This school gave yearly concerts in the courthouse, and some of the prominent families of the town attended this school. 110 History of Kent County, Maryland In the house now occupied by J. Waters Kussell, Miss Mollie Usilton conducted a private school. The house formerly occupied by the "Brick House Club/' on Princess street, was for many years used as a private school house, and w^as taught by Miss Lottie Spencer, now Dr. S. C. Koberts' widow. Miss Josie KeDue for many years conducted one of the largest private schools in town, both for music and other studies, next to the custom house on Water street. Founding of Washington College. Washington College, the oldest in the State, was established by Act of Legislature in 1782, as part of the proposed University of Maryland. George Washington, then in camp at Newburg, consented that his name should be given to the infant institu- tion, contributed to its endowment, and visited it in 1784. (The amount contributed by Washington was 1283.33.) On this occasion the students played the tradegy of Gustavus Vasa, in which reference was made to him as the Gustavus of America. He placed at this time his name on the records of the Board of Visitors and Governors, of which he was a member. The college was based on a flourishing academy, with one hundred and forty scholars, under the Eev. Dr. Smith and his assistants, into which the Free School of Chestertown, established as far back as 1783, had previously been merged. The in- fant college was organized with all its functions immediately on the receipt of its charter in 1782. History of Kent County, Maryland 111 It held its first commencement with six graduates in May, 1783, when addresses were delivered in Latin and French. The original extensive structure, 160 feet in length, whose corner stone was laid by Governor WASHINGTON COLLEGE, CHESTERTOWN, MD. Paca in 1783, was burned to the ground in 1827. The exercises of the college were continued in Ches- tertown until 1811:, when the central building of the present group was erected upon the old site. The corner stone was laid by Hon. E. F. Chambers. No degrees were conferred from 1827 to 1849, as the institution was at a low ebb, the appropriation from the State having been at times Avithdrawn, or reduced to an inconsiderable amount. It was only 112 History of Kent County, Maryland by the persistent efforts of the Board of Visitors and Governors that its existence was maintained. In 1854 two brick buildings were erected, one on each side of the main structure. The college steadily increased in numbers from 1844 until the breaking out of the Civil War. In 1890 two residences were built for the prin- cipal and vice-principal. Iti 1892 through the liberality of the citizens of Chester-town, a gymnasium was erected on the col- lege grounds. In 1896 the Legislature authorized the establish- ment of a Normal Department for ladies, and gave |5,000 towards its erection. A lot was purchased of Mr. John Bell and a commodious building occu- pied by lady students, but at the request of the Visi- tors and Governors, the Legislature of 1910 repealed the api^ropriation for scholarships in the Normal Department and appropriated a like amount for scholarships for male students in the college. By this Act the college reverted to its original position, as a place for a "liberal education in the arts and sciences." William Smith Hall, so named for the first presi- dent of the college, was erected in 1906 at a cost of 171,000. This building was used as an admini- stration building. It was an imposing and hand- some structure, but it was destroved bv fire earlv Sunday morning, January 16, 1916. A new building is being erected on the site of this burned structure to take its place. A |50,000 gymnasium was com- pleted in 1912. A tract of about five acres of land on College avenue opposite the campus was bought History of Kent County, Maryland 113 and fitted up as an athletic ground in 1906 and is now known as Wasliington field. The James White property on the w^estern corner of the campus was purchased in 1915 from Fred. G. Usilton for |3,200 and is now a part of the campus. No more beauti- ful or healthful situation for a college can be found. At all times it has clung to high ideals of scholar- ship and of character, yielding to the State and the Nation a rich return in the training of young men for good citizenship. The present faculty com- prises James William Cain, President; James Roy Micou, Vice-President; Edward J. Clarke, Secre- tary; J. S. William Jones, Recorder; A. Sager Hall, Professor of Physical Sciences ; Charles Louis Townsend, Professor of German and French ; Mar- ten Ten Hoor, Professor of Philosophy and Educa- tion ; Julio Del Toro, Instructor in Spanish, Mathe- matics and Science; J. Thomas Kibler, Director of Physical Training. the original college building. 114 History of Kent County, Maryland CHAPTER XIII. Records of the First Sail Vessel and Early Steam- hoating on the Chester River — An Enterprising GomjKiny — The First Railroad^ Its Cost, Oivner- ship, etc. In November, 1825, M. Tilghman advertises the schooner 'Two Brothers" to carry letters, packages, grain, etc., to Baltimore. He also ran the schooner "Independence" from Travilla. February 24, 1826, the fast-sailing, copper-bottom sloop, "General LaFayette," Robert Constable, mas- ter, left Chestertown on Wednesdavs at 9 A. M. and Baltimore on Saturdays. "With a good wind can make the trip in live and one-half to seven hours." The first notice of steamboats is in March, 1827, when the steamer "Maryland" is advertised as leav- ing Baltimore on Monday at 5 A. M. and arriving in Chestertown at 12 M., stopping at Queenstown ; fare, |1.50 each way. "Lender no inducements shall more steam be employed than is necessary for her ordinary voyages." Lemuel G. Taylor was the com- mander of the steamer. Then came the "Patuxent," Captain Weems. Sail vessels advertise a trip for |1.50, and meals; colored passengers, |1 and found. The steamer "Cambridge" was put on in 1849, and competed with the "Maryland," Captain J. R. Griffith. The "Osiris" was put on in September, and left Baltimore every Wednesday and Saturday, returning the same day. The "Hugh Jenkins" was History of Kent County, Maryland 115 put on in April, 1851, and charged fl.OO for the round trip. The Eastern Shore Steamboat Com- pany, in 1852, gave Chestertown a boat as far up as Crumpton thrice a week. The "Wm. Selden," Cap- tain John D. Turner, was put on in the summer of 1852. The "Cecil" also ran here; Corsica and Kent Island Avere the only wharves below here. The steamer "Arrow" Avas put on in November, 18G0, Capt. E. S. L. Young. The steamer "Balloon," of the Eastern Shore Line, was put on in 1860. The steamer "Chester" arrived in April, 1861. Captain Young, of the "Arrow," took command, and B. S. Ford, then clerk of the "Arrow," took Captain Young's place. H. B. Slaughter was proprietor of this line. The "Chester" and "Arrow" ran alter- nately, making a daily line from this town. Thompson's wharf was built in 1856-7 by Capt. James Frizby Taylor. Kuth & Emory bought out Hiram Brown in 1854, and Taylor bought from Ruth & Emory, and the Chester River Company now holds all. The late Col. B. S. Ford, who had served with the late Capt. E. S. L. Young in several capacities of purser and captain in Slaughter's line, about this time (1865) conceived the idea of forming a com- pany, and with the valuable assistance of Capt. E. S. L. Young, who was well acquainted with the representative men of that time, procured a charter from the Maryland Legislature for the corporation known as the Chester River Steamboat Company. This company purchased the steamers "Chester" and "George LaAV," of the estate of H. B. Slaughter, and organized for business by electing B. S. Ford 116 History of Kent County, Maryland its president and general manager; the duties of which office he ably fulfilled through the struggling period of the young corporation's existence, until the foundation was laid strong and deep for the great success it has since achieved. "RINGGOLD'S FORTUNE," 1762, NEAR ST. PAUL'S, OWNED BY MRS. CAROLENE HYNSON AND TENANTED BY MR. CHARLES M. BROWNE. Well does the writer remember the initial trip of the ''B. S. Ford." It having been well advertised that she would come from Baltimore in charge of her first commander, Capt. P. C. McConnor, on the 3rd, and take an excursion to Baltimore on the 4th of July, 1877; the Avharves on the route were History of Kent County, Maryland 117 crowded on the Nation's holiday to greet this Queen of the Chester b}' an immense throng of people from all sections of the surrounding country; many to embark and many to admire her symmetrical beauty. This event was hailed as a new era of comfort to the traveling public and a marked advance in the busi- ness of the company. Alas ! scarcely more than two years of the bright new era had passed away when the whole State was startled and many homes sad- dened by the news of the death of Col. B. S. Ford at Ocean City, July 28, 1879. On Saturday night. May 5, 1881, the B. S. Ford was burned at her wharf in Chestertown. She had been off the line for several w^eeks for repairs, w^hich had cost about |2,000. The Ford was insured for $41,000, and cost when new |75,000. She was after- wards rebuilt, and made her first trip to Chester- town on Saturday, May 7, 1887, with Capt. John A. Clark in command. The elevation of Mr. George Warfield, of Bal- timore city, to the presidency caused no surprise. This gentleman had great experience in business far remote from transportation, but like a good mariner took bearings before venturing too far, and devoted his time and talents to acquiring the experience re- quired for his ncAV duties, and rapid progress he made in that direction. By a wonderful develop- ment of its interests, he proved the wisdom of his election to the management of the company's affairs. Under Mr. Warfield's administration the steamers Corisca and Emma A. Ford were built and the Gratitude purchased, which, with the B. S. Ford, comprised the fleet. Capt. P. C. McConnor, Mate W. 118 History of Kent County, Maryland S. Taylor and Capt. Jack Anthony with Capt. Wil- liam M. Vandike for many j-ears were in charge of the fleet. The Chester Elver Company with all its boats and tine wharf property were sold to the scene along the banks of the chester— oysterman's ark. Pennsylvania Railroad Company, since which time it has been known as the Maryland, Delaware & Virginia Steamboat Company. Much wharf property has been added to the hold- ings of the company and piers and warehouses built that are not surpassed by any on the Chesapeake Bay or tributaries. This rich section of the East- ern Shore is highly favored in transportation and History of Kent County, Maryland 119 mail facilities, and we indulge the hope that the great West may yet find an outlet to the sea through this peninsula. Several times in its history has the company had to contend with opposition, but they generally managed to get them out of the way before they grew formidable. On Friday, April 24, 1868, a contract was entered into for the construction of a railroad from near Masseys, by way of Kennedyville, to Chestertown, Bel Air, Eees' Corner, to the terminus on Swan Creek, 32.09 miles; also wharf at Chestertown. The entire work to be completed for |548,000, of which 1169,332 was to be paid in cash, |98,640 in Kent^ County bonds at par, and the balance in the bonds of the company at par. The names mentioned as contractors were A. F. Sears, Peter Sanford, Rod- man Backus, of Newark, N. J. Cost. Masseys to Kennedyville $155,272.98 Kennedyville to Worton 95,218.31 Worton to Chestertown 64,003.34 Chestertown to near Fairlee 80,007.(55 Bel Air to Battershell Hill 48,383.89 To Deep Landing (Rock Hall) 105,118.83 Total . $548,000.00 On Friday, January 10, 1869, it was decided to build a railroad on ""the ridge," and on May 15 the following directors were elected : Hon. George Vickers, T. W. Eliason, Isaac Parsons, J. B. Fenni- more, W. B. Wilmer, William Janvier, Abel J. Bees, Thomas J. Shallcross, and officered thus : President, T. W. Eliason ; treasurer, Richard Hynson ; secre- 120 History of Kent County, Maryland tary, Charles T. Westcott. Bishop & Ferguson con- tracted to carry the U. S. mail between M/iddletown and ChestertoAvn in a two-horse stage coach. On Jnly 23, 1870, the Kent County Eailroad was em- W-^ '< J- . b^^ ^ -l^Sj-jl^ if ' ^^^' /,£.9Z "yU " /*y? iC^^^ -^ Ay~ JS OLD COMEGYS home ON "COMEGYS BIGHT"- OWNED BY H. M. BAKER— 1768. ployed to bring the mail as far asi Kennedyville, and from thence by stage. By this route the Balti- more mail arrived in Chestertown at 3 P. M. in- stead of 6. In August, 1870, the road had reached Worton, and grading to town was begun, Mr. Jack- son contractor. Mr. Eliason resigned the presi- dency after a short service. J. K. Hines resigned as superintendent, and Mr. Owens, of Queen Anne's, History of Kent County, Maryland 121 was appointed. A stage ran from Hall's Hotel daily at 6 A. M. ; retiiruiug-, would leave Worton at 1.3U P. M., and the fare to Philadelphia was |3.30. In April, 1871, the Board of Public Works appointed the following directors : Abel J. Eees, Kobt. Nichol- son, William S. Walker. A dispute arose, and the road was not accepted until a year later. On Tues- day, February 20, 1872, the first train arrived at Chestertown. On Sunday, March 3, 1872, the train was caught in a snow drift, and the Queen Anne's engine had to come and get our train out. In 1871 a big strike occurred, and the mail to Worton was carried to Worton on a hand car. On July 10, 1871, the road was leased to M. W. Serat, president of the company. In 1877 the road was sold at public sale at the Yoshell House to Jay Gould, through J. F. Bingham, Esq., for .f33,000 and other considerations. Col. Fred Gerker leased from Gould, it is said, for |1 a year, and B. F. Fleming was made manager. Gerker gave it up on April 1, 1889, but previous to this he was offered the road for |275,000. He re- fused, but E. P. Thielens, of New Jersey, bought it at 1375,000. The Jersey Central took |250,000, and gave Thielens the balance. The latter w^as to pay taxes and keep up the road with his one-third for two years, and then the Jersey Central would as- sume control. Col. E. P. Stacey was made superin- tendent. The present corps of men comprise: Con- ductor, J. D. Welch ; engineer, Horace Eeed. The train arrives here at 11 A. M. and 7 P. M., two trains per day besides a freight train running daily. Propositions looking to the extension of this road to the bav have been made, but at this time there 122 History of Kent County, Maryland is but little prospect of the same being consum- mated. The road bed at one time was finished as far as Tolchester, but the company never placed a track there and the land is now in cultivation. History of Kent County, Maryland 123 CHAPTER XIV. Flourishing Financial Institutions and Their Officers — Banks and Loan Association — Kent County Mutual Fire Insurance Comimny. The Farmers and Mechanics' Bank was incor- porated in October, 1849, with these directors: Geo. Vickers, George B. Westcott, James B. Ricaud, Richard Hynson, Hugh Wallis, William F. Smyth, D. C. Blackiston, Wesley Wiley, Daniel Collins, Thomas R. Browne, G. O. Trenchard; G. B. West- cott, president; S. W. Spencer, cashier. They started in the room occupied by C. H. Wickes, Esq., and a banking house was afterwards erected on the McClain lot. The statement in 1852 showed deposits of 115,037.37, and circulation |52,238.00 ; loans, |53- 891.25. The Kent National succeeded the Mechanics' and closed its career in 1885, under the management of the late George B. Westcott. It paid handsome dividends. The Chestertown Bank of Maryland is the suc- cessor to the Chestertown National. The Board of Directors are William W. Beck, president; Samuel Vannort, vice-president; Allan A. Harris, cashier; Jesse E. Ireland, assistant cashier; E. S. Valliant; James W. Chapman, C. E. Crane, C. H. Price, James T. Dixon, Wm. B. Usilton, E. A. Scott, James E. Woodall, Jr., Merrick Clements, S. Scott Beck, Arthur L. Harris. They established a branch bank at Galena a few years ago. The capital stock paid in is, |26,575. 124 History of Kent County, Maryland The last statement in May, 1916, showed loans of 1199,095.75 ; deposits, |490,680.54 and a surplus sum of 145,000. The total amount of business was |610,- 105.89. The Second National Bank was organized in June, 1890, and opened in the "Kent News Building." On February 3, 1891, the bank moved into its new building, which cost over |12,000. Its successor is the Third National. This bank is doing a big busi- ness and meeting the fullest expectations of its friends. During the past twelve months this bank paid nearly |23,000 to its savings depositors in in- terest. Its capital stock is |50,000; surplus fund, 130,000; total business, |879,789.90. The Board of Directors are James A. Pearce, Hope H. Barroll, Wilbur W. Hubbard, Adam F. Huey, D. Thomas Hurlock, T. B. Durding, L. Wethered Barroll, Geo. D. Lofland, Elmer E. Leary, Thomas D. Bowers, W. B. Copper. James A. Pearce, president; Hope H. Barroll, vice-president. The Ivent County Savings Bank was organized in July, 1893, and located in the building opposite the "Kent News Building." September 1, 1901, they mloved into their magnificent new structure. The contract price was |11,992. Capital stock, |20,000 ; this was the first bank in Kent County to pay in- terest on deposits. They all pay 4% at this time, 1916. The last statement shows total business, 1537,829.93; surplus fund |40,000. The Directors are as follows: M. A. Toulson, president; Fred. G. Usilton, vice-president; William F. Eussell, cashier; Jefferson D. Bacchus, John D. Urie, James H. Baker, Philip G. Wilmer, Lewin W. Wickes, James History of Kent County, MxVryland 125 A. Casey, James E. Hurlock, Charles S. Smith, Howard Turner, William F. Kussell. The Kent Mutual Loan Association was formed in 18G9. It was succeeded by the Chester Loan Asso- THE OLD MITCHELL HOME AT TOLCHESTER FARM, OWNED BY WALTER U. LUSBY AND TENANTED BY C. D. WOOD— 1825. ciation in 1880. The Kent Building and Loan Com- pany is its successor. From |500 to |1,000 per week is paid in by the members ; par value per share |100 ; payments of 25 cents per share per week, and the stock matures in about six years and six months. The officers and directors are as follows : President, L. Bates Russell, Vice-President, Fred. G. Usilton; 126 History of Kent County, Maryland Secretary and Treasurer, J. Waters Kussell; Coun- sellor, John D. Urie; Dr. H. Benge Simmons, Thos. S. Bordley, Charles S. Smith, William F. Russell, A. M. Culp, J. H. Sides, M. A. Toulson, Charles N. Satterfield. Its assets December 31, 1915, were 185,500.93. The People's Bank was organized in 1911. Capi- tal stock 125,000; the last statement showed, sur- plus fund of 110,000 and total business, |273,772.62. Its Directors: Dr. H. B. Simmons, president; L. B. Russell, vice-president; A. Parks Rasin, William. M. Slay, Capt. Daniel Hill, William T. Brown, Wil- liam G. Snwth, Joseph DoAvney, John C. Davis, Howard F. Owens, R. Hynson Rogers. They have established a branch bank at Rock Hall, one at Massey and another at Betterton. Another growing financial institution is the Mil- lington Bank of Maryland, located at Millington. The capital stock is |15,000 ; surplus fund, |5,000 ; total business |138,571.81, according to the state- ment. May, 1916. Its Directors are John P. Ahern, president; Isaac Gibbs, vice-president; R. W. Moffett, T. C. Roe, R. F. Powell, J. H. Wiest, Spen- cer Merrick, J. S. Newman, Joseph Mallalieu. The Mutual Fire Insurance Company of Kent County is a successful financial corporation in Chestertown, and was chartered in 1847. It has saved to its policy holders at least |175,077.12 dur- ing the past fifty years of its existence. The Direc- tors are Thomas W. Eliason, president; George B. Westcott, secretary and treasurer; Samuel Vannort, James H. Baker, E. S. Yalliant, James A. Casey, Edward W. Emery, R. G. Nicholson, Jefferson D. History of Kent County, Maryland 127 Bacchus, Harry C. Price, James T. Brown, Fred G. Usilton. The Kent County Land Company was organized in 1911 and has a capital stock of |22,500, and has about 180,000 invested in land. The Directors are J. Waters Kussell, president; William S. Collins, Fred. G. Usilton, Alwyn M. Culp. H H M W <! f^ Q <: H <! H a Q 1-9 I— ( w o H O Q History of Kent County, ^Iaryland 129 CHAPTER XV. The First Military Organization — Music — Rendition of the Beautiful Cantata^ ''Queen Esther''' and "Rutn:' In 1793-4 the first military company in Chester- town was organized, the ""Chester Hundred Light Infantry," Capt. William B. Rasin. He when seven- teen years old enlisted, and after the battle of Cam- den was made lieutenant. He was near Baron deKalb when he fell and fought in the Revolutionary War, dying at the age of 45 or 50. In 1825 the ''Chester Republican Blues," "Chester Independent Company," and "LaFayette Artillery,-' celebrated the Fourth of July in Chestertown. The speakers were Col. Fred Wilson, Major Simon Wickes, Adjutant James Harris, Capt. Joseph Wickes, Capt. A. B. Hanson, Capt. Wm. S. Las- sell, Lieut. William Harris, Jr., Ensigns Benj. Greenwood, Jr., and George Vickers. Next came the "Reed Rifles," with fifty members, organized in 1858, Capt. Eben F. Perkins; First Lieutenant, Robert Stam; Second Lieutenant, John N. McDaniel. In the News Ofiice there mav be found the silk flag carried by Philip Reed at Caulk's Field and presented to the Reed Rifles in 1857 by George Handy. It was the property of Milton Baker for some years. In August, 1858, Lieut. Robert Stam died very suddeuh^ while the company were on the way home from an excursion to Port Deposit. This company was called out several times to quell 130 History of Kent County, Maryland disorder on the occasion of excursions from Balti- more, but was never ordered to battle. They dis- banded at the breaking out of the Civil War and many enlisted in the "Home Guards," which were encamped at Camp Vickers, near the mill. Colonel Massey, Capt. C. H. Wickes and Capt. William D. Burchinal each had companies. The "Chester Blues" were the rivals of the "Keed Kitles," Jesse K. Hines, captain ; William H. Hamiilton, first lieutenant. In May, 1861, a company was formed with Hon. E. H. Chambers, captain; Jos. A. Wickes, first lieu- tenant; James A. Pearce, Jr., second lieutenant. A volunteer company was also formed with James A. Shaw, captain ; William B. Usilton and Thos. S. Dodd, lieutenants. Capt. William I. Basin, who died Sunday, June 18, 191G, was born July 1, 1811, near Still Pond. He was the son of Macall Medford Basin, who served during three sessions of the legislature. In the spring of 1861, Captain Basin entered the southern army and though not then twentj^-one, he organized a cavalry company of which he was chosen captain. He was constantly engaged in the arduous duties of that branch of the service, and participated in many severe engagements. In one of these near Win- chester, Va., his horse was shot under him and he received a dangerous sabre wound in the head, but soon returned to his command. Bev. Dr. Bandolph H. McKim, of Gen. Jos. E. Johnston's staff, in his ^'Soldiers' Becollections," states that Captain Basin at the head of his company led the first charge at Appomattox. He says, "This was handsomely made by the First Maryland Cavalry under the following CO oo 00 o H H K I— ( w w Eh H 132 History of Kent County, Maryland circumstances as related to me by Col. Cary Breck- enbridge, of the Second Virginia Cavalry. When the enemy in full charge was seen coming at them not one hundred yards distant, Capt. William I. Basin, commanding the first squadron and riding with Colonel Dorsey at the head of his regiment, said, 'Colonel, we must charge them, it is the only chance,' and as the words left his lips, Dorsey, who had perceived the necessity, gave the command, 'Draw sabre — gallop — charge!' And this little band of Marylanders hurled themselves against the heavy columjn and drove them back. This was the last blow struck by the army of Northern Virginia." And in this charge William C. Price, of Captain Rasin's Company, a native of Kent County, and a son of Ferdinand Price, was killed. Two other members of Company E from Kjent County were also killed in battle. Thos. H. Gemmill, near Win- chester, and John C. Spencer, at Greenland Gap, Virginia. Six men from Kent County, but in other com- mands, were killed in battle. James Alfred Ken- nard and Samuel L. Kelley, at First Manassas; Henry C. Blackiston, at Bunker Hill, Va. ; Levi Perkins, near Winchester; Benjamin C. Vickers, at Shiloh, and James S. Price, son of Lewis Price, at Franklin, Tenn. Soon after the close of the war, Captain Rasin, with Col. Harry McCoy, formed a partnership as commission merchants in Baltimore under the firm name of McCoy & Rasin, in which they established a successful business which was continued a number of years, after which Captain Rasin purchased from the estate of Judge Cham- '^^ %)^ C. N. SATTERFIELD'S RESIDENCE— J. D. BACCHUS' OLD HOME ON CHESTER RIVER— THE ODD FELLOWS' HALL, CHESTER- TOWN— SNOW SCENE, HIGH STREET, CHESTERTOWN, 1899. 134 History of Kent County, Maryland bers the bajside farm near Tol Chester, where he lived for some time. Later he became Deputy Col- lector of Internal Revenue, in Baltimore. Chestertown out of a voting population of less than 200 furnished the first year of the Civil War G2 soldiers in the Union Army. Many exciting incidents are told of that patriotic organization of soldiers, the ^'Eeed Rifles,'' for home protection. In the exciting scenes before the actual breaking out of the Civil War, and when our noble commonwealth Avas in the throes of uncertaintv as to whether her fortunes would be cast with the South or with the Union — when railroads were torn up and all travel between the nation's capital and the North interrupted and Chestertown saw the singular spectacle of strangers going through our streets or stopping over night on the wa^' from Bal- timore to northern cities — the State Legislature was in flight to Frederick — our chief city appalled by riot and blood-shed, and every flag of the Union hauled down throughout the State — one flag only remained flying and that was on the Reed Rifles' armory in Chestertown ! Every member of the com- pany rallied to its protection and though they loved the South tliiey would not allow the old flag to be lowered. The old Town Hall, which stood in the center of the now beautiful town park, and was for so long the only hall and market house of the town, was built by the Reed Rifles and owned by them until the company disbanded. Another great and memorable occasion was the presentation of a magnificent banner by the ladies History op Kent County, Maryland 135 of Chestertowu. The presentation was made by Miss Wickes, daughter of Joseph Wickes, Esq., from the porch of the family residence on Main street — the same dwelling now owned and occupied by Mrs. Joseph Wickes. This old banner is now in the custody of Thos. S. Bordley, but it is greatly marred by the ravages of time. There were ten of these soldiers surviving in 1916, among them being James W. Chapman, Mil- ton Baker, James W. Lambert, Alfred I. Benjamin, Freeman Fiddis, William W. Copper. There were sixty members in the original enrollment. The "Kent Guards" was an offspring of the "Reed Rifles," and was organized in the fall of 1878, with H. W. Vickers as captain, succeeded afterwards by Thos. S. Bordley. This company had a number of target contests, parades and wonderful experiences. In 1880 J. S. Vandergrift won the cup for the best shot. The first musical organization of which we have any record is the Chester Band, formed in 1850, and was led by Mr. John ReDue. Mr. C. T. Westcott was leader of the Kent Cornet Band for years, and was succeeded by Mr. John N. Orem. Two boy bands were in existence in 1884 and 1890, one led by Carle Westcott and the other by William F. Rus- sell. The "Worton Band" of four pieces is said to have been the most comical organization ever in town, having paraded here on Emancipation Day. The instruments were bass drum, trombone, cornet and bass horn. In 1896 two orchestras were formed in the Methodist Sunday Schools, and they were a credit 136 History of Kent County, Maryland to the schools and town. The M. E. Orchestra con- sisted of J. F. Thompson, L. B. Russell, Edw. Ring- gold, D. P. Jones, Miss Anna G. Lambert. M. P. Orchestra : A. M. Gulp, J. N. Dodd, W. H. McFeely, Robert Garey, Warren Hurlock, John Gannan ; Misses May Hurlock, organist, and Glare Vannort, pianist. Ghestertown has some of the finest singers in the State and pianists that equal any other town on the Shore. Operas, cantatas and plays have been pre- sented by home talent that are hard to excel. Among the fine productions was the rendition of the oratorio of ''Queen Esther." The cast of characters of its rendition, in January, 1888, was as follows : Queen Miss Hallie Beck Queen's Attendants Misses Belle Aldridge, Lillie Hynson Queen's Maids Misses Emma Gilpin, Edith Hines Queen's Pages Misses Lucie Hines, Carrie Reiche Zeresh Miss Mollie Parks Zeresh's Attendants Misses Clare Vannort, Allie Shuster Zeresh's Child "Ida" Miss Amye Russell Prophetess Miss Anna Lambert Mordecai's Sister Miss Mary R. Aldridge Maid of Honor Miss Emma Lambert Angel Miss Grace Turner King W. Walter Chapman King's Pages Harry Rickey, Lenox CatliD Haman Prof. Edw. J. Clark Mordecai M. Wilbur Thomas High Priest William A. Biscoe Hegai Thomas S. Dodd Scribe Fred. G. Usilton Herald and Harbonah Horace W. Beck Charles S. Smith R. S. Thomas Guards Harry Brice Ellwood Baker History of Kent County, Maryland 137 Pianist Mrs. Lulie Bacchus Organist Miss Belle Pippin Violinist L. B. Russell DoJble Bass Viol Charles P. Hodgkin Clarionet Edgar Ford Cornetist I. L. Twilley Director W. Harper McFeely Since then the Chestertown Musical and Dra matic Association under the direction of William Walter Chapman has given ''Esther" in 1915 and "The Coming of Ruth" in 1916, with great success. Mr. Chapman was succeeded by Prof. Ten Hoor as leader and Miss Mabel Toulson as president. 138 History of Kent County, Maryland CHAPTER XVI. Kent in the War of 1812-14. The weekly Register printed in Baltimore City in its issue of April 24, 1814, states that the Eng- lish had landed on Pool's Island, where they ei'sected a small battery to cut off trade in the upper bay. Under date of April 28, six hundred of the enemy landed in barges on Spesutia Island, nearly opposite the mouth of the Susquehanna River. At the time of the landing about one hundred persons (fishermen) on the island escaped to Hartford County. News was received from Kent that two persons suspected of having supplied the British with provisions, were arrested and sent to General Chambers, at ''Charles- town" (evidently Chestertown). On April 26th "The enemy's force, consisting of one 74, three fri- gates, two brigs, two schooners, and a number of tenders, are nowly off from Werton Point. They are on shore on Pool's Island every day, having got possession of it. On Saturday they made an at- tempt to land at the mouth of Still Pond, but were repulsed by the force collected on shore. ''On the morning of the 3rd of May, Havre de Grace was destroyed, but one house remiained uninjured. Stage coaches, together with the baggage of their passen- gers, were destroyed." The following interesting extracts from a "letter from Kent" and "Georgetown X Roads" are given. The first extract says : "A ship of war passing down the bay last Tuesday, commenced a bombardment on History of Kent County, Maryland 139 S. Wilmer's house (of j^oiir city), and after firing 15 shots at the house, 6 of which lodged in the wall, and two passed through the house; they also landed at a Mr. Medford's with extreme rudeness, robbed him of all his sheep, cattle, hogs, bacon and even setting poultry and escaped with their booty thus honorably obtained." The editor adds : ''We learn by another channel that after killing Mr. M.'s cattle, the militia came upon the British before they could carry them off." The letter from Georgetown said: ''The enemy landed at Mr. George Medford's, at Plum! Point, in Werton, and robbed his meat house, hen house and sheepfold; they even went into the kitchen, stole the kitchen furniture and took the negroes' weekly allowance of meat. The Maid- stone frigate lies so near Howell's Point that she has thrown some of her shot a mile into the country." It is also stated that while trying to effect a land- ing in Fairlee Creek the British were attacked, and it is believed, lost several of their number. These old papers give some interesting quota- tions of prices in 1813: Flour, |6 barrel; wheat, .fl.25 bushel; corn, .fO.GS bushel; molasses, |1.15 gal- lon ; pork, |21 barrel ; French brandy, |2.20 gallon ; rye whiskey, |1 gallon ; brown sugar, |26.50 cwt., salt, 11.25 bushel; shot, |19.50 cwt.; teas (Hyson), $1.95 lb. ; tobacco, |8 cwt. The "free persons" given for Kent County in 1810 were given at 7,201 ; "white population," 11,450 ; quota of direct tax, |4,213.95. 140 History op Kent County, Maryland CHAPTER XVII. Four United States Senators Furnished Ity Kent Coimty — Tlieir Life History — Other Notaries. It is seldom that a town the size of Chestertown is so ably represented in the legislation of our country as is the case with this towTi in Kent. It has had the honor of furnishing four United States Senators, all of whom were men of extraordinary ability. Senator Philip Reed was born in Kent County about 1760, and died in 1829. He received an aca- demical education, and served as captain in the Revolutionary Armlf. Afterwards he was elected to the United States Senate in place of Robert Wright, resigned, and held the seat from 1806 to 1813. On his return home he commanded, as colonel of militia, the regiment of home guards that met and defeated at Caulk's Field, Md., August 30, 1814, a superior British force under Sir Peter Parker, who was killed in the engagement. Col. Reed was elected to the Fifteenth Congress, serving until the year 1823. James Barroll Ricaud, jurist, born in Baltimore, Md., February 11, 1808; died in Chestertown, Janu- ary 26, 1866. He was educated at St. Mary's Col- lege, Baltimore, studied law, and on admission to the bar, entered into practice at Chestertown. He was a memSber of the House of Delegates in 1843 and succeeding sessions, and a presidental elector on the Harrison ticket in 1836, and on the Clay ticket in 1844. Hie was elected a member of Congress History of Kent County, Maryland 141 by the American party for two successive terms;, serving until 1859. He subsequently sat in the State Senate, but resigned on being appointed a Judge of the Circuit Court, 1864. Ezekiel Freeman Chambers was born in Klent County February 28, 1788, and died in Chestertown on January 30, 1867. He was graduated at Wash- ington College in 1805, studied law and was ad- mitted to the bar in 1808. He performed military service in the war of 1812, and subsequently ob- tained the rank of Brigadier-General of Militia. Though elected in 1822 to the State Senate against his will, he took an active part in the legislation of that body, and in 1825 arranged a system for the more effectual recovery of slaves. In 1826 he was elected United States Senator from Maryland, and in 1832 re-elected. He distinguished himself as one of the ablest debaters and antagonists in that body. In 1834 he was appointed Chief Judge of the Second Judicial District and a Judge of the Court of Ap- peals, which places he held till 1857, when the Mary- land judiciary became elective. In 1850 he was a member of the Constitutional Convention of the State. In 1852 President Fillmore offered him the post of Secretary of the Navy, on the resignation of Secretary Graham, but the condition of his health compelled him to decline. Yale conferred on him the degree of LL. D. in 1833, and Delaware in 1852. James Alfred Pearce, born in Alexandria, Va., December 14, 1805; died in Chestertown, December 20, 1862. He was graduated at Princeton in 1822, studied law in Baltimore, and was admitted to the bar in 1824, after whicli he began to practice at Cambridge, Md. At the end of a year he went to Lou- 142 History of Kent County, Maryland isiana ^yitll his father and engaged in sugar plant- in"' for three years. He then returned to Maryland and settled in Kent Count y, where he resumed the practice of his profession. He was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1831; in 1835 to Congress as a Democrat, and he seryed, except dur- ing one term in 183941, until 1843, when he was chosen to the United States Senate, where he re- mained until his death. During his long seryice i:i HON. JAMES ALFRED PEARCE. the Senate he was especially interested in the library of Congress, the Smiths cnian Institute and the Coast Suryey. President Fillmore offered him a seat on the bench of the United States District Court of Maryland, which he declined. During the same administration he was nominated and confirmed Secretary of the Interior, but this honor was also declined, on the ground that he could be of more use to his country in the Senate. He took a deep in- terest in educational matters, and in 1833 was elected one of the Visitors and Goyernors of Wash- ington College, in Ayhich institution he afterwards History of Kent County, Maryland 143 lectured on law. Mr. Pearce was regarded as one of the wisest and safest members of the United States Senate. His son, Judge James A. Pearce, holds an enviable position among all our people. Hon. George Vickers was born in Chestertown November 19, 1801, and died October 8, 1879. He HON. GEORGE VICKERS. acquired a classical education, was employed in the county clerk's office for several yeai^, studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1832, and practiced in Chestertown. He was a delegate to the Whig Na- tional Convention of 1852. When the Civil War began he was appointed Major-General of the State militia. He was a presidental elector on the McClel Ian ticket in 1864, and one of the vice-presidents of the Union Convention of 1866. In 1866-7 he was a member of the State Senate. In 1868 he was elected United States Senator for the term that ended on March 3, 1873, in the place of Philip F. Thomas, who had been denied the seat. 144 History of Kent County, Maryland It being imfjortant that the new Senator should reach Washington at the earliest period practicable, the ice-boat Chesapeake was dispatched from Bal- timbre on Friday evening, March 6, 1867, having on board the committee of the Legislature to bring Mr. Vickers to that city. The steamer reached here at 3 o'clock Saturday morning. Mr. Vickers was noti- fied of his election and he left at once, the boat breaking ice all the way to Baltimore, where a spe- cial car was in waiting to convey the party to Wash- ington. General Vickers was sworn in Monday and took an important part in the acquittal of President Andrew Johnson in the efforts of his enemies to impeach him. He took a conspicuous part in the debate on the Fifteenth Amendment to the Federal Constitution also. His grandson, H. W. Vickers, Esq., is one of the most prominent members of the bar here. Probably the first commander of the United States Navy was Ale^xander Murray, who was bora in the old Spencer house, Chestertown, in 1755, and died in Philadelphia in 1821. He was a relative of Mrs. Lottie Roberts, who has a well-preserved por- trait of him. In 1776 he was appointed a lieu- tenant in the Continental Navy, but there being no employment for him afloat, he served through the campaigns of 1776-7 as lieutenant and captain in the First Maryland Eegiment, participating in the bat- tles of Flatbush and White Plains. At the close of the campaign of 1777 he was given the command of a ship with a letter of marque, in which he was captured by the British squadron and carried into New York. After his exchange he served as lieu- tenant on the Trumbull, in the action with the Iris T. W. ELIASOl^'S HISTORIC HOUSE— THE J. K. ALDRIDGE HOME— QUEEN STREET HOMES— FOUNDRY OR WILSON PEALE HOUSE, 146 History of Kent County, Maryland and Gen. Monk, off the moutli of the Delaware. In 1798 he was made captain, and served in the West Indies in command of the Constellation. In 1802 he commanded the Constellation in the Mediterranean, and an attack which he made upon a flotilla of seven- teen gunboats was the first affair of the war with Tripoli. At his death he was in command of the Navy Yard at Philadelphia, and was senior officer of the navy. Chestertown was the birth-place of Charles Wilson Peale, one of the greatest artists of his day, so says E. H. Butler's history. He was born in April, 1741. He was bv trade a saddler and received instruction in the art of painting from Hesselius, a German, to whom he gave a saddle for the privilege of seeing him paint. He was the first dentist in America who prepared sets of enamel teeth. He was a universal genius, making for himself a violin and a guitar. He went to London in 1770 and became a pupil of Ben- jamin West. Eeturning to America, he was the chief portrait painter in this country. He was a patriot and commanded a company in the battles of Trenton and Germantown. In 1785 he com- menced in Philadelphia the celebrated Peale's Museum, which for many years was the largest and most valuable collection of natural curiosities in the United States. Its principal attraction was an entire skeleton of a mammoth. He also established a museum in Baltimore. Mr. Peale died, after a a life of extraordinary exertion and temperance, in 1827, aged 85 years. His son Kenibrandt was an artist of great merit. Mr. Peale's father was a teacher in the old Free School at Chestertown. History of Kent County, Maryland 147 CHAPTER XVIII. Old Records Shoimug Transfers of Land in Kent. Mr. Percy G. Skirven in his search, of historic iuformation among the records in the Court House in Baltimore City, contributes interesting facts. Among the transfers of land may be found : Col. Edward Carter, of upper Norfolk County, Virginia, released a "bill of sale'' he held on land belonging to his brother-in-law, Joseph Hopkins, February 28, 1667. This tract of land was known as "Buck Neck" and described as "lying in the eastern side of the Chesapeake Bay and at the head of a creek in the bar called Worton Creek." Four years afterwards, September 5, 1671, Daniel Silvane, of Baltimore County, gave a quit-claim deed to William Pearce, of the same county, for 150 acres of this tract. The record states the land "is lying and being in Chesapeake Bay, in Baltimore County, and on the eastern side of the bay in a creek called Worton Creek, being a part of a tract of land called 'Buck Neck,' formerly taken up by Joseph Hop- kins, which said 150 acres were purchased by me of William Pearce." In March of the same year we find this one: ''To all Christian people : Know ye, that I, Charles Nicho- lett, minister of God's Word in the county of BaJ- timore, within the Proyince of Maryland, and Jus- tine, my wife, do, etc., sell to John James the tract of land known as 'Lynn,' lying and being in Chesapeake Bay and on the eastern side of said bay and in a 148 History of Kent County, Maryland creek called Steelpone Creek, and on the north side of the said creek, containing 150 acres." This deed Avas dated March 5, 1671. The following record is dated 1672 : Charles James to Thomas Middlefield, carpenter. 200 acres known » 4. 5 THE OLD MARKET HOUSE. CHESTERTOWN, MD. as ^'Little Drayton," described as "being in Balti- more County, in the eastern side of the Chesapeake Ba}^, and in a bay called Steelpone Bay, and in a creek in the said bay called Churne Creeke, and on the west side of the said creeke." On March 1, 1672, a deed was recorded showing that Thomas How^ell sold to James Hepbourne 200 History of Kent County, Maryland 149 acres of land "lying in Chesapeake Bay on the eastern side of the said bay in the county afoi'esaid (Baltimore) and in a river, called Sassafras Elver and in a creek in the said river called Fishing (now Lloyd's) Creek and at the head of the said creek." A little more than a year afterwards, August 2, 1673, William Salsbury, planter, and his wife Sarah, sold 200 acres of land called ''Tamworth" to William Morgan and William Welch, planters. This prop- erty, too, was ''in Chesapeake Bay on the eastern side of the said bay in the county of Baltimore in a creek within the said bay called Worton Creek." It adjoined the lands of Captain Cornwallis. As late as June 3, 1674, just three days before Lord Baltimore sent to Nathaniel Stiles, the ''high Sheriff of Cecil County," his proclamation erecting the county of ''Cecil," a deed was recorded in the land records of Baltimore County showing that Thomas Ramsav sold 200 acres of land called ''Fare- all" to John West. This land is described as being in the Sassafras River in a creek called "Toulson's Creeke" and adjoining the lands of Andrew Toulson. How Lord Baltimore Intended It. These records do not prove conclusively that Bal- timore County's southern boundary on the Eastern Shore was as stated above, but from data bearing on the erection of the counties of Cecil, Talbot and Kent it is reasonably safe to say that a line drawn from Worton Creek to the Chester River in the vicinity of Chestertown and from thence with the Chester River to the eastern boundary of the province was 150 History of Kent County, Maryland what Lord Baltimiore, with what limited knowl- edge he had of the geography of the country, in- tended should be the southern boundary. Baltimore County was probably erected in 1659, but the first record of any court held in that county shows that in 1661 court was held at the house of Capt. Thomas Howell, very probably on HowelPs Point. Previous to the building of a courthouse on the Elk River an old building stood on the shore of what is now known as "Ordinary Point," a long narrow sand bar extending out into the Sassafras River from the north shore, just opposite to the mouth of Tur- ner's Creek. A well-authenticated description under date of 1679 of this old building, which, according to the story, was an ordinary house or inn and w^hich was also used as a courthouse, is to be found in the early historical records of the province. There are many facts to lead us to 1 elieve that this was one of the old courthouses of Baltimore Countv at least for part of the time that this county extended its borders across the Chesapeake. Shrewsbury parish received its name from a town "laid out" on the south side of the Sassafras River, a little distance east of Turner's Creek. In Vol. 13, Page 26, of the Archives of Maryland, we find that on April 18, 1684, "upon motion of the delegates of Cecil County, a towne is ordered to be laid out at Meeting House Point, in Sassafras River, in the said county." About this time the Rt. Hon. Charles Tal- bot, Earl of Shrewsbury, was Principal Secretary of State in England and the newly "laid-out" town may have been so named in his honor. In the event that this was not the case, however, it may have taken its History of Kent County, ^Farylaxd 151 name from a shire town, Slirewsbui-y, in England. ^'Meeting House Point," so called lor the first church or "meeting house," was an exceedingly ad- vantageous location considered from the point of BEFO' DE WAR. accessibility by water transportation. At this time — 1684 — there were few roads and almost all of the visiting and churchgoing, as well as the commercial traffic, was done by boats. Then, too, the ships trading between England and the Province had bold water at this point in the Sassafras and could anchor close to shore for loading and unloading their freight. 152 History of Kent County, Maryland No records have been found as to how long Shrewsbury Town was used as a port of entry or Avhat the names of the streets were or who lived tliere. That Shrewsbury Town had been abandoned as a place ''where all ships and vessels trading into the province shall unload and put on shore all negroes, wares, goods, merchandise, and commodi- ties whatsoever" is borne out by the following sec- tion in the act of the Assembly of April 19, 1706, establishing such towns or ports. ''The towns, ports and places hereinafter men- tioned shall be ports, etc. : In Kent County ; in Chester River, on a plantation of Mr. Wilmore's and Edward Walvin's plantation (the present site of Chestertown) ; in Worton Creek, on a tract of land where Francis Barnes lives, formerly laid out for a towne, and in Sassafras River, where Shrewsbury Towne was." In a supplementary act to the one above passed by the Assembly on April 15, 1707, the following appears: "And that the place ap- pointed be also deserted and laid out where the com- missioners for towns in Kent County aforesaid have purchased land for the same." There is no doubt the place that the above act has reference to is the present site of the pretty village of Georgetown, which lies on the south bank of the Sassafras River, some six miles to the east of where the old town of Shrewsbury was ''laid out." The act of assembly for laying out Georgetow^n was not passed until 1736, but there are many reasons to believe that it was "laid out" many years previous to that date. History of Kent County, Maryland 153 The following partial extract of a record found among the land records of Kent County^ shows that this y^^as so at least three years prior to the act of assembly just mentioned : ''This indenture, made this nineteenth day of March, Anno Dom, One Thousand Seven Hundred Thirty and three, between Gideon Pearce, of Kent County, Mar} land, gentleman of the one part, and George Skirven, of the same place, gen- tleman of the other part, withnesseth, etc., all that parcel of land being two of the lotts of land in a designed towne as now laid out and called George Towne (lying now in Kent County, in Maryland, upon the Sassafras Riyer), w^hich two lotts are known and designed as No. 14 and No. 15 as by platt and certificate of the designed Towne lodged with the Surveyor of the said county. Also the use of Lott No. 10 belonging to his daughter, Rachel Pearce, for the benefit and advantages of Importa- tion and Exportation of anything Whatsoever." Lot No. 10 was at the foot of Front street directly on the river shore. The names of the principal streets in this old town were King, Queen, Princess, Stop, Cannon, Kent, Cross, Chestnut, Front and Calvert. George's lane and Fish alley were names of smaller streets near the water's edge. This beautiful old town with its neighbor, Fredericktown, across the Sassafras River in Cecil County, is mentioned in a ''Journal" pub- lished by a clergyman in 1759. In traveling from Annapolis to Philadelphia he stopped for the night in Fredericktown and he writes: "Fredericktown is a small village on the western side of the Sassafras River built for the accomlmodation of strangers and 154 History of Kent County, Maryland travelers ; on the eastern side, exactly opposite to it, is another small village (Georgetown) erected for the same purpose." For nearlv five vears after the erection of Shrews- bury parish there was no regular minister in charge. In 1097 the Rev. Richard Sewell was sent by Gov. Francis Nicholson. While the Rev. Mr. Sewell was the first rector sent by the Governor to these parishes, there had been services held in Shrewsbury parish by the Rev. Mr. Lawrence Vanderbush, then rector of St. Paul's parish in Kent. Mr. Vanderbrush went to St. Paul's in September, 16934, and he had held services at least once a month in Shrewsbury parish during the last year of his life, 1096, and very probably from the first year that he went to St. Paul's. Too Much Work For One Man. It was shortly after the death of Mr. Vanderbush that Mr. Sewell went to Shrewsbury, and, as the work was hard and the two parishes so large, he found it more than he could do alone. In the church records of St. Paul's parish there appear items show- ing that the Rev. Mr. Stephen Bordley, who was sent as rector of that (St. Paul's) parish in 1697, as- sisted the Rev. Mr. Sewell in the work by holding services at Shrewsbury church on the first Sunday in each month during the years of 1699 and 1706. It is very probable that this arrangement lasted from the time of Mr. Bordley going to St. Paul's. From the two mother parishes of St. Paul's and Shrewsbury in the year 1765 Chester parish was History of Kent County, Maryland 155 erected and a church built for that parish at the present site of Christ Church "I. U." Its "Chapel of Ease" was built at Chestertown where the present Emmanuel Church now stands. It is authorita- tively stated that the chapel at Chestertown was made the "church" of Chester parish about the year 1809, "I. U." becoming the "Chapel of Ease." Within the churchyard at Shrewsbury, now in- closed with a handsome and substantial iron fence, are to be seen the graves of many distinguished colonists, of rectors who have laid down here to rest when their work on earth was finished and of the sturdy settlers who were none the less valuable as citizens as well as churchmen. Today their descendents point with pride to these mute evidences of their ancestors, who, through courage and energy, carved out of the wilderness both fortune and name to be handed down to succeeding generations. In looking through the old records of the parish, the following names are to be seen prior to 1780; Angier, Blackiston, Burgan, Blay, Browning, Boyer, Brooks, Bellikin, Baird, Black, Briscoe, Comegys, Christian, Campbell, Cole, Chandler, Cadwalader, Clark, CreWj Cosden, Clayton, Cooper, Dinning, Day, De Brewster, Dunnington, Donaldson, Davis, Eccleston, Evans, Fisher, French, Freeman, Forres- ter, Gale, Cleaves, Hall, Hopkins, Hynson, Holdman, Hudson, Hepbron, Howard, Hailes, Hicks, Hull, Hanson, Haley, Hatchison, Hazil, Hurtt, Ireland, Jones, Jobson, Johnson, Knock, Kenton, Keating, Lowe, Latham, Middleton, Medford, Merritt, Mil- born, Massey, Mansfield, Maffitt, Norris, Pearce, Perkins, Page, Piner, Redgrave, Ridson, Rasin, Reed, 156 History of Kent County, Maryland Eeyner, Rogers, Riley, Sewell, Smothers, Skeggs, Spencer, Stoops, Sutton, Smith, Symonds, Tillton, Tilden, Turner, Truelock, Wallis, Wilson, Waite, Wilmer, Woodland, Wethered, Wright and Yeates. The first vestry was composed of the following '^freeholders:" William Harris, Edward Blay, Wil- liam Pearce, William Elm, Edward Skidmore and George Skirven. History of Kent County, Maryland 157 CHAPTER XIX. Some Weather Records. Tlie Coldest Winter and Summe?' — Men Wrapped in Overcoats Drove Reapers July 4 — A Year When Snoiv Fell and Sheep Froze to Death in June — - Ice and Frost in July — and Crops Were Chilled in August. All are prone to look upon the "olden time" as being remarkable for weather, as well as for many other happenings. The record summer of 1816 stands as the most distressing of the nineteenth cen- tury. June, 1816, was the coldest ever known in this latitude; frost and ice were common. Almost every green thing was killed ; fruit was nearly all destroyed. This was the year when farmers were glad to wear overcoats and gloves when cutting wheat July 4 and fires on the hearth were welcome. Snow fell to the depth of ten inches in Vermont, seven in Maine, three in the interior of New York, and also in Massachusetts. There were a few warm days. All classes looked for them in that memorable cold summer. It was called a dry season. But little rain fell. The wind blew steadily from the north cold and fierce. Mothers knit extra socks and mittens for their chil- dren in the spring, and wood-piles that usually dis- appeared during the warm spell in front of the houses were speedily built up again. Planting and shivering were done together, and the farmers who 158 History of Kent County, Maryland worked out their taxes on the country roads wore overcoats and mittens. In a town in Vermont a flock of sheep belonging to a farmer had been sent, as usual, to their pasture. On the seventeenth of June a heavy snow fell; the cold was intense, and the owner started away at noon to look for his sheep. RURAL CARRIERS IN KENT BEFORE THE AUTO CAME. "Better start the neighbors soon, wife," he said in jest before leaving; "being in the middle of June I may get lost in the snow." Night came, the storm increased, and he did not return. The next morning the family sent out for help and started in search. One after another of tlie neighbors turned out to look for the missing man. The snow had covered up all tracks, and not until the end of the third day did they find him on History of Kent County, Maryland 159 the side of a hill, with both feet frozen, unable to move. A farmer who had a large field of corn in another New England village, built fires around it to ward off the frost; many an evening he and his men took turns watching it. He was rewarded with the only crop in the neighborhood. Considerable damage was done in New Orleans in consequence of the rapid rise of the Mississippi Eiver; the suburbs were covered with water and the roads were passed only in boats. Fears that the sun was cooling off abounded, and throughout New England all picnics were strictly prohibited be- cause of the danger to health. July was accompanied with frost and ice. On the fifth, ice was formed of the thickness of the common window glass throughout New England, New York, and some parts of Kent County. Corn was nearly all destroyed ; some favorably situated fields escaped. August was more cheerless, if possible, than the months which preceded it. Ice was formed half an inch in thickness. Indian corn was so frozen that the greater part was cut down and dried for fodder. Almost every green thing was destroyed in this coun- try and in Europe. On the thirteenth snow fell at Barnet, forty miles from London. Papers received from England stated that ''it would be remembered by the present genera- tion that the year 1816 was a year in which there was no summer." Very little corn ripened in Eng- land, and the Middle States farmers supplied them- selves from corn produced in 1815 for seed in the 160 History of Kent County, Maryland spring of 1817. It sold at from four to five dollars per bushel. Chestertown's oldest citizens state that the winter of 1899 was the worst in their recollection. The thermometer reached nine degrees below zero, and for a week hovered around the zero mark, with ex- cellent sleighing. Snow to the depth of three feet fell during the week, and the train was six days get- ting the mail to or from Chestertown. A blizzard raged for two days, roads were blocked and but little business was transacted. Navigation closed on Thursday, February 9, and remained so until the 2:]rd. HEADQUARTERS IN THE "OLD FIFTH" IN FORMER DAYS— EDESVILLE. History of Kent County, Maryland IGl CHAPTEK XX. Women Vote in Kent— The First Place in State. Three of Them Take Part in Election at Still Pond— Fourteen Were Registered— Some of Those Who Didn't Go to the Polls Explain Why They Let a Glorious Opportunity Pass. An act was passed by the Legislature of Maryland, 1908, incorporating the town of Still Pond. This act, in Section 3, provides that the legal voters of Still Pond, female included, who pay taxes and who have resided within its corporate limits six months, of the age of 21 years and upward, shall elect by ballot on the first Saturday in May, 1908, three com- missioners. Accordingly, on the first Saturday in May at 2 P. M. a voting place was opened in the public school room and Dr. W. S. Maxwell, Dr. J. H. Kelley and C. B. Krusen acted as judges and Wm. Medders and Wm. Krusen clerks. There were 75 voters registered, 12 of whom were white women and two colored. There were three ladies who availed themselves of the unusual priv- ilege of casting a ballot, thereby being the first Avomen in the State of Maryland to exercise the right of franchise. These w^re Mrs. Mary Jane Howard, one of the best known residents of the town; Mrs. W. S. Maxwell and Mrs. J. H. Kelley, wives of phy- sicians and leaders of thought in the community. These ladies voted early, but two of them voted a losing ticket. Mrs. Howard was the exception, as one of her candidates out of the three for whom she 162 History of Kent County, Maryland voted was elected. It is said that some of the men offered to write the tickets for these voters, but they refused to be influenced and voted "independently." Mrs. Howard stated that she felt very foolish going to the polls, but wanted to avail herself of the rare privilege to ascertain if there was really as much in it as the men seemed to believe. Still Pond was the only town in Maryland at that time where the women have the right to vote in a municipal election. Only three voted, but perhaps many were prevented from voting by a rainstorm which came up about 4 o'clock. One lady said she didn't vote because she didn't want to get her new hat spoiled. Another said she wanted to go about the time it rained and after that she had to prepare supper for the men folks. Another said that after the rain baby awoke and she was compelled to re- main with him. The election resulted in the selection of Thomas Bradley for three years, John B. Parrott for two years, and C. B. Krusen for one year, as commission- ers. The board named in the bill were Charles W. Hague, John G. Schofield and Wm. Medders. History of Kent County, Maryland 1G3 CHAPTER XXI. Some Records on the Farm. The agricultural resources of Kent County are far superior to those of many other counties in the State of Maryland. No county has a greater variety of soils, or soils more fertile, more diversified, or more certain in the production of crops. Here is an abundance of raw material and rich soil, upon which all fruits, and all the crops, and all the animals necessar}^ for man's support and convenience can be raised with less expense than in colder climates. Here are mighty rivers and flowing creeks and purl- ing rivulets, gushing springs of sparkling water suitable for navigation and machinery, for stock, for dairy and household. Here is a climate so genial to the physical man that the very exuberance of his spirit doubles pleasures, and robs adversity of half its woes. This is the ideal home of the farmer and skilled workman. Land is cheap and produc- tive; skilled labor is in demand. In writing this history we cannot help but note the passing of a great industry — the peach. In the '80's there were a million and a half of trees in Kent and those were halcyon days to many a man. The Harrises and others along the Bay still find the peach a paying crop, but the blight and yellows have discouraged most of the farmers from putting much land in peach trees. Among the men who were first to introduce this delicious fruit was the late Col. Edw. Wilkins, who owned a lovely estate on 164 History of Kent County, Maryland the Chester, now owned by Mrs. Jennie Viekers Robinson. His crop had realized him as high as 160,000 in a single season. He sold 3,000 boxes of white heath peaches one season for |18,000, which was at the rate of |6 per box. Twenty to forty thousand dollars per year clear was only an ordi- nary crop to Colonel Wilkins in those days. In one season he furnished one canner in Baltimore |56,000 worth of peaches and did not take up a dollar ; at the end of the season he took the canner's note for the whole amount until a market was found for the canned article. ''Good old times" indeed were those ! For several years past the keiffer pear, assisted by the tomato, has been the financial salvation of many a Kent farmer. The keiffer pear was first dis- covered near Philadelphia. The tree was a seedling which came up on a vacant lot in 1876. It is sup- posed to be a cross between the Chinese Send-Pear and the Bartlett. In 1896 Mr. Scarborough, mana- ger of four canneries in Kent, paid to the pear grow- ers over 116,000. The total crop of the county, even in this comparatively off crop year, is placed at 200,000 baskets. The popular price that year was 25 cents per basket, since which time the average price has been nearer 15 cents. The intimate rela- tion which the keiffer pear and the tomato crop have borne to the financial fortunes of the Kent County farmer sounds to the stranger like a fairy-tale of a dream-dove but unrealized prosperity. In 1912 there were raised in Kent County over 25,000 tons of tomatoes for which the farmers were paid $9.60 per ton. Thus, the astounding sum of 1240,000. Clifton L. Jarrell says he cleared |35 per History of Kent County, MxVryland 105 acre off a hundred acres. Thomas J. Davis picked 252 tons and 24 baskets off 23 acres. Thomas Fowler on State's Attorney Vickers' Flatland farm sokl 120 tons off ten acres. H. C. Willis near Fairlee shipped ' 1 AM ioi& m n^n^ i^^Bk IwHBHVV^^b ^^^^J =%^ ^^fin - 1 ^^rv'^ - IP^aiiB 1 M & i 1 ~ to IHBii^K?? "-^^ HHiM ■ iHiiiiii^ -. . 1 ^^^H S- '~ 1 B 3 ^ sl the kennedy-lockwood farm, an up-to-date farm near kennedyville— william jewell, tenant. over tw^elve tons to the acre off ten acres the same year. Cooling stations established along the railroad in Kent County have superseded the creameries, and dairying has been given a new importance. The industry is but in its infancy. Mr. John N. Bennett in 1900 lived on Campbellworthmore, near Lynch's. 166 History of Kent County, Maryland He kept a record of his creamery business, which is here given for that year: January 2,881 February 8,539 March 5,117 April 6,69G May 12,273 June 12,002 July 7,836 August 9,282 September 7,238 October 5,134 November .. 4,361 December 3,159 $25.94 ?1.60 $2.40 $21.94 29.31 1.75 1.25 25.31 46.05 1.30 2.25 42.50 50.22 .88 1.89 47.45 79.77 1.75 2.60 75.42 71.01 2.15 1.90 67.96 62.69 2.53 2.73 57.43 74.26 1.95 1.89 70.42 57.90 2.50 1.76 53.64 51.34 1.38 2.75 47.21 17.44 .25 1.25 15.94 22.52 .30 .98 21.24 Totals 79,519 $588.45 $18.34 $23.65 $546.29 Amount of calves • • • 197.64 Total revenue from 19 cows $985.74 Sold 16 calves — amount 155.29 Raised 3 calves at $15 each — amount 45.00 $197.26 Average amount from each cow 41.35 Average amount of lbs. of milk from each cow 4,185 During the past two years the following ship- ments of milk have been made from the cooling sta- tions along the Kent railroads : Cans, 1914 Cans, 1915 Chestertown ' 10,811 10,906 Worton 12,157 10,158 Kennedyville 22.945 14,047 Blacks 99 12,780 Massey 16,210 14,787 Totals 62,622 62,678 Each can contains 11 1/^ gallons, so that the total shipment in 1915 was 720,900 gallons of milk which brought to the farmers thousands of dollars. History of Kent County, Maryland 1(>7 The price for this milk varies from |1.20 to |2.00 per cwt., according to test. Of course the staple crops of Kent Coimty are Avheat and corn. About 50,000 acres are so\ved in wheat, the average yield being about fifteen bushels A CHARACTERISTIC BARNYARD SCENE IN KENT IN EARLY WINTER. per acre. There are about 35,000 acres in corn, the average yield being 27 bushels per acre. In 1888 Eugene M. Bouwill reaped 52 bushels of wheat per acre off his front field on his farm, near Betterton. One of tlie largest public sales of real estate ever made in Kent County was that by Mr. Kichard Hynson on June 20, 18GG, wlien he disposed of over four thousand acres of land, included in which was the large estate of Edward Comegys, of which Mr. 168 History of Kent County, Maryland Hynson was executor. As a matter of interest touching real estate values, it is not out of place to note some of the sales and prices on the occasion named. The Fairlee farm, 841 acres, was bought by T. W. Eliason, at |50.25 per acre; the Carville A TYPICAL PEACH ORCHARD IN KENT WHEN A MILLION AND A HALF TREES YIELDED GREAT CROPS IN THE EARLY EIGHTIES. farm, 628 acres, to Mrs. A. R. Curry, for |28.00 ; the Freeman farm, 465 acres, to John M. Hudson, for 163 per acre ; the Stewart farm, 343 acres, to P. T. Simmonds, for .f72 per acre; the home farm, 456 acres, to Mrs. O. P. Jones, for |50.50 per acre; the Curry farm, 270 acres, to same, for same. Other sales made the total 4,0003^ acres, which averaged 153.67 per acre, and a total sale by Mr. Hynson on this occasion of |214,794.07i/2. History of Kent County, Maryland 1G9 CHAPTER XXII. Old Time Christmas in Kent. Dr. Peregrine WroWs Picture of the Holiday i)i Kent Written Nearly a Hundred Years Ago. No more charming picture can be found of old Yuletide customs in Kent County one hundred years ago than is written by Dr. Wroth, a distin- guished resident of Chestertown at that time. Among other things he says : "The tires blazed with a peculiar lustre at Christmas. Before the dawn of the day so long desired and longed for, the 3'ounger members of the family (I am speaking of the family in the country) were up and doing. The young children had searched and emptied their stockings, which had been hung up the night before, of the good things which are annually supplied by old Kris Kringle. The capacious bowl of egg-nog was brewed; the hickory Yule log, which had been prepared days before with all ceremony, crackled and blazed on the ample hearth ; the servants, large and small, with their shining ebony faces and teeth of pearl, peeped through the half-open doors and windows, and all was prepared to salute the rising sun with the well-charged Christmas gun. As soon as the sun appeared the echoes of the report were brought back from the surrounding woods, where the older servants, men and women, came from the ^'quarter," dressed in their new suits of home-made kersey, leading the children who could walk, and 170 History of Kent County, Maryland carrying in their arms those who could not, and en- tered the 'great house' ("home of the master" was so called) to receive their Christmas dram from the hand of the master. This annual ceremony (daily through Christmas week) being over, the servants retired to the quarters, where they were regaled with a plentiful breakfast. This being dispatched, the banjo, a musical instrument which they brought with them from Africa, was introduced, and the merry dance began with the well-remembered words, 'Jack butter in the fat; hop and git over dat.' Here we will leave them a while. In the great house, as they called it, egg-nog was handed round and all partook of the foaming beverage. After a breakfast of hot buckwheat cakes, well buttered, rolls and bis- cuit, and sometimes crackling Johnny cake and coifee, garnished with stuffed sausages, the family party began to assemble, and dining-room and par- lor were soon filled. In the meantime the cooks were busy in preparing the old gobbler for the spit, and the large dinner pot hanging over the fire was filled with a five-jear old ham and chines and other pork, with stores of vegetables, such as cabbage, potatoes, parsnips, etc. Potpies of goose or chicken were not forgotten, and ample provision had been previously made of minced pies, pumpkin pudding and plum pudding and many other things, some of them now unknown. "While dinner was preparing — to be served at 1 o'clock, never later — the male members of the family party would while away the hours by shooting at a target or galloping around the neighborhood sip- ping his neighbor's egg-nog and romping with their History of Kent County, Maryland 171 daughters. Hilarity reigned throughout the coun- try; but I assure you, my dear children, tliat in- toxication was unknown in genteel circles. All were cheerful but sober, and a modest kiss was considered no breach of decorum. ''Let us now pay another visit to the 'quarter.' The servants, who were persuaded that no man in the country was so great as master, and who never approached him without lifting the hat or scraping the ground with the toe of the shoe, had their full share of unrestrained mirth and jollity. In every family there was a 'leader 0/ all sports' who regu- lated the festivities of the season. In mv father's 'quarter this leader was Cuffee. He would place a large log in the front yard of the quarter, and boring a hole in it three or four inches deep with an auger, till it with water and plug it with a black hole from the fireplace. In the interval of the song and dance he would spring from the door, and striking a heavy blow with an axe on the hole in the log, jumj) high in the air, and, striking his feet together three times before he reached the ground, utter a loud shout as an echo to the report from the log, almost as loud as a gun. He would then return to his comrades in the quarter and give out a line of his unpremeditated song, to be answered by them in full chorus. The rhythm of these songs was such as that in Africa at this dav and was thence introduced into this t.' country. I give a specimen: Leader — 'Work away, my brave boys.' Chorus — 'So, ho — ' (prolonged). Another specimen: 'Raccoon foot and 'possum tail, New Town gals will never fail.' " 172 History of Kent County, Maryland TOWN OFFICIALS. City Council — Robert Moffett, Wm. L, Fowler and George R, Rouse. Clerk to Council — James W. Crouch. Attorney to Council — R. Groome Parks. Officers — Samuel S. Cooper and Beverly Hyland. Population, 1880—2,860, 1900—3,000; 1910—2,800. Tax rate, $0.60. VOSHELL HOUSE, CHESTERTOWN, MD. History of Kent County, Maryland 173 CHAPTER XXIII. Chestertown — The County Town of Kent — Its EavJij History. Chestertown is the ''Gem City" of the Peninsula. Her feet are lightly touched by the placid and spark- ling waters of the Chester Eiver, whose origin is found in a spring near Smyrna, Del.; her head is crowned with verdant fields of golden grain and orchards of luscious fruits, while on her western skirts runs a brooklet whose base is to be traced far up the country. Her northern boundary is a rich, grassy glade where the undulating surface answers promptly to the agriculturist's demand, while on the west hundreds of wide-branched oaks fling their gnarled arms and waft breezes of purest ozone over the little city. The Tilghmans of The Hermitage, represented by so many honorable men, including the President of the Constitutional Convention of Maryland in 1774, arrived about 1655. They came from Snodland, in Kent. They took up many tracts, including ''Tilgh- man-and-Foxley Grove," upon which Chestertown was subsequently founded, then held, through an in- termarriage, by the Wilmers of Kent. Miss Tilgh- man, the original patentee of Chestertown, received 1,000 acres from the crown-head of England. She died in 1688, leaving her property to Simon Wilmer and his wife, Rebecca. Xo land was deeded until more than one hundred years afterwards, except at the mill and outlying sections. In 1735 the lot now 174 History of Kent County, Maryland occupied by Col. Vannort, corner of Maple avenue and Front street, was deeded to a Philadelphia cap- tain, and finally came into the Colonel's hands. In 1707 the place for the town and port, by pre- vious act at Yarmouth, Grey's Inn, was ordered deserted, and the town, with courthouse, etc., built THE PEARCE HOME, OWNED AND OCCUPIED BY NATHANIEL HYNSON, JR.. IN 1735. LOCATED ON WATER STREET, CHESTER- TOWN. NOW OWNED BY MRS. M. C. RINGGOLD. at Chestertown. All towns, rivers, creeks and coves in Cecil, Kent and Queen Anne's, except Kent Island, to be members of the Port of Chestertown, on the Chester River. Fiftj^ acres were purchased at Chester Ferry, and the large brick house on Water street, foot of High street, was the custom house. It now belongs to W. W. Hubbard, and its vaults and tremendous rooms may be found in ex- cellent condition. History of Kent County, Maryland 175 Henry Collister, an indentured servant, having acquired a fortune, owned the "town point" prop- erty, on Chester River, where Chestertown now stands, having become possessed of it in September, 1758. In 1755 war was declared against the French and their Indian allies, and Governor Sharpe called for volunteers. The Gazette of Februarv 0, 1755, savs: "At Chestertown several men enlisted before the drum was beat, and the officer, who wanted but thirty men, got his complement and marched with them. Such is the commendable spirit of that place." In September, 1756, a number of gentlemen of Chestertown fitted out a fine new ship called the "Sharpe," after the Governor, and commanded by Capt. Edw. Scott. It carried 26 carriage guns and 20 swivels; 200 men manned her. This boat did valiant service against the French. The town was laid out by authority of an Act of Maryland passed in 1706, and was named in the law *'New Toa^ti." Its charter was revised in 1780 and the name Chester Town given to it. In 1730 an ordinance was passed forbidding sheep, swine or geese to be raised within the Iotsti limits. On Janu- ary 27, 1806, "an act to appoint commissioners for the regulation and improvement of Chester Town, in Kent, and for other purposes," was passed. A meet- ing was held in the old courthouse in May, 1806, and F. A. Dinsmore, then clerk, fixed the bounds as follows: Easterly, by the lands of Miss Smith; northerly, by lands of Wm. H. Wilmer; westerly, by the poor house lands; southerly, by lands of Thomas Worrell and Robert Wright and Chester 176 History of Kent County, Maryland River. The limits of the town at present include all that property within a line beginning at the river, near the residence of H. H. Barroll, Esq., and run- ning thence and inclosing all the College lands to OLD MASONIC HALL, NOW THE "KENT NEWS BUILDING." centre of bridge at mill ; thence in a southerly direc- tion through the John N. Usilton propertj^ to the point of intersection of the lands of Walter Wright Avith Hubbard's factory, and thence with the division line between said lands to Chester River. Among the first clerks were William Lassell and David Arthur. In 1816 William Wheeler was bailiff, History of Kent County, Maryland 177 and in 1821 James Dawson was wood corder ; in 1839 Thomas J. Carroll was market master; from 1856 to 1868 William Webb was bailiff and market master and court crier; in 1860 Edward Ryland was weigh master. In George Washington's diary for August, Sep- tember and October, 1774, we glean the following interesting facts : "On September 1st, I breakfasted at Queen Anne's, in Prince George's County, dined in Annapolis and lodged at Rock Hall, and remained there until September 2d, in order to await the arrival of my two horses." Rock Hall was then the upper or northern terminus of the Annapolis Packet Ferry, where a good hotel was kept. From Rock Hall there was a well-traveled road through Ches- tertown, by the head of Sassafras to New Castle, Del. The Rock Hall farm, in 1774, was owned by Richard Spencer, who was a grandson of James Spencer, of Spencer Hall, on Eastern Neck Island. A part of Rock Hall was sold to James Ringgold, of Huntingfield, in 1779, and the Rock Hall Ferry was maintained up to about 1846, the old wharves being still visible. Washington arrived in Chestertown, or New Town, on the Chester, late in the afternoon of September 2, 1774, and stopped at the tavern located on the corner of Cannon and Princess streets. Not only did Washington stop there, but all the delegates who went to the Continental Congress in Philadel- phia in 1774 did so. On his return, in October, he is said to have stopped at the hotel kept in the build- ing now occupied and owned by Mr. Thomas W. Eliason, on High street. The whole cost for travel- 178 History of Kent County, Maryland ing expenses was ten pounds, and for incidentals, etc., the total amount was two hundred tifty-one I)ounds. MISS JOSIE REDUE'S OLD HOME, BUILT IN 1708, NOW REPLACED BY HUBBARD DWELLINGS, ON WATER STREET. History of Kent County, Maryland 170 CHAPTER XXIV. ''The 'White House' Farm." History of the Old Colonial Estate on a Part of Which Chestertoivn noic Stands. Among the annals of colonial and subsequent times that have happily been preserved, few are more interesting among family records than some facts connected with the hospitable and beautiful home of the late Mr. Frisby Gordon, and for many years the home of the late William S. Walker. It is now the property of Walter Wright, a part of which is occupied by the Kent and Queen Anne's Association. Situated on the very edge of ChestertowTi, its fields running to the river on one side, this pleasant, pic- turesque home was called for many years "The White House." The same family has owned it for several generations, as Mrs. Walker is a lineal decendent of the first proprietor. The original grant of the land was conferred upon the early English colonist, Dr. Richard Tilghman, and the tract thus patented included what is now the site of Chester- town. By the will of Marie Foxley Tilghman, who sur- vived her husband and was executrix of his estate, we learn that one of their daughters named ''Rebecca" married Simon Wilmer (another colonist from England) about 1679. Marie Foxley Tilgh- man— the widow of Dr. Richard Tilghman— in 1088 conveyed by deed to this daughter, Rebecca Wilmer, 180 History of Kent County, Maryland and her husband, a part of his estate, located on the Kent side of Chester River known as ''Tilghman and Foxley Grove," containing 1,000 acres and which finally received the name of "Stepney," the "White House" farm. The Day Star by G. L. L. Davis, Esq., a Maryland historian, affirms that Chestertown is located on the tract above mentioned as "Tilgh- man and Foxley Grove." Their son, Simon, and grandson, Lambert Wilmer, inherited this home place ; their children intermarrying with the Gordon family and the Tylden families; these last inter- marrying with the Hynson family, make the chil- dren of these branches lineal decendents of the first Richard and Marie Foxlev Tilohman. The "White House" remained in the possession of the Wilmers until 1820, when it was conveyed by one Simon Wilmer to his first cousin, Mrs. Marv Frisby Gordon, whose mother was a Wilmer, and whose granddaughter oA^Tied it until the last few years when it was sold to Mr. Wright. Some of the early Wilmers have long slept in the family burial ground on this "White House" farm. Among the later ones interred there is a sister of the late Judge John B. Eccleston, whose husband was "Ringgold Wilmer." Rev. Simon Wilmer, the grandfather of the former Bishop of Alabama, married his cousin, who was called "the beautiful Miss Ann Ringgold," and lived on this "W^hite House" farm. This Rev. Simon is seen on horseback, wearing his broad-brimmed cleri- cal hat, in the highly-prized landscape painting, by Charles Wilson Peale, and on the porch are Mrs. Wilmer and another ladv, either Mrs. Wilmer's History of Kext County, Maryland LSI sister or daughter, it is believed. lu the distance is Chestertown, the Episcopal Church and A\'asliiiio-- ton College being the most prominent bnihlings in view. The original plot of the ^' White House" farm designates it as a "tobacco plantation," showing but one house from the river to the mill. rHE WHITE HOUSE FARM— SITE OF CHESTERTOWN— RADCLIFF RACE TRACK NOW ON PART OF IT— OWNED BY WALTER WRIGHT. 182 History of Kent County, Maryland CHAPTER XXV. Throtving Tea Overboard in the Chestertovni Earhor — The Early Plays and Operas — Great Racing Events — Home Novel Ordinances — Mail Facilities. The brigantine Geddes arrived in Chester town in 1774 with a small lot of dutiable tea for some of the neio^hborino; counties. The inhabitants assembled in town meeting May 13, and held indignation meet- ings and threw the tea overboard. This same day the tea was thrown overboard in Boston harbor. In June and July Chestertown received a letter from Boston thanking citizens for benevolence towards the poor of the metropolis. It seems as if this to^vn was the only place in Maryland that sent subscrip- tions to Boston and Charlestown, Mass. They sent several vessels loaded with provisions. In 1752 Hallam and Henry performed in a thea- tre here the plays entitled ''Richard III" and "The Beggar's Opera." Every fall and spring there were races in Chestertown, back of what is now Mr. John Bell's farm, commencing about 1750. The Chester- town races were particularly celebrated, and on this course Maryland and Virginia often contended together, as also did the gentlemen breeders of Kent, Queen Anne's and Talbot counties. On the 24th of November, 1766, for instance, a race was run here for a purse of 100 pistols (3.60) expressly offered by the gentlemen of the place, in order to bring together "the two most famous horses on the con- tinent." These were Yorick, of Virginia, and Selim, History of Kent County, Maryland 183 of Marjland. Yorick had won several matches and Selini had never been beaten. The race was for 4 mile heats; a big crowd was present and Selim won. Kaces lasted a week, and closed with a ball and grand opera. Man}' ladies were present, w liile many fine old Virginia gentlemen would be present and DUNN'S "BROADNOX," BUILT ABOUT 1708, OWNED BY GEORGE D. LOFLAND AND OCCUPIED BY J. H. SHRILLY. bet their negroes on the result. Courts were adjourned and schools dismissed. Endurance, rather than speed, was the quality expected of the raceis. In 1710 the Sheriff of Kent received GOO pounds of tobacco for conveying letters and packages to and from the Capital seat. Some of the ordinances passed in ISOO did not allow a negro or slave to be on the street after 10 o'clock at night without permit from master or mis- tress. No negro residing out of town was allowed to remain in town after T o'clock in winter ami in 184 History of Kent County, Maryland summer. This was kept up until 1860. The church bell on the Protestant Episcopal Church, the only bell in town, was the signal for the colored people to leave. A chimney sweeper was appointed by the town, and for many years old Chester Wilmer was the appointee. In 1826 we find the people advertising for a school- master and requiring that he must keep away from "tippling shops." In 1781 five men crossed the bav on the ice, and in 1836, on February 16, five men came across the bay on the ice and returned. The postmaster of Chestertown in 1821 was Joseph ReDue, who was Sheriff in 1827, and Inspec- tor of the Port of Chester until abolished by Con- gress in 1850. From 1826 to 1852 he was President of the Board of Town Commissioners. In 1870 the salary of the postmaster at Chestertown was |780; Kennedyville, |200; Still Pond, |125; Millington, 1220; Rock Hall, |65, and Chesterville, |200. The mail route between Lankford and Chestertown was established in 1870. In February, 1899, a mail route was established between Price's Station and Ches- tertown, and an afternoon mail given to the citizens. The present postmaster is T. D. Bowers, who suc- ceeded M. Wilbur Thomas. The salary is about |2,300, with allowance for rent, clerk hire of five men and fuel. There are rural routes starting at Chestertown served by W. B. Ashley, Rock Hall; D. B. Kendall, over bridge in Queen Anne's; Thos. Willis, Fred. S. Russell, Walter Hadaway, Charles E. Woods. History of Kent County, Maryland 185 MRS WM. B. USILTON'S RESIDENCE. WHERE A GUNSMITH MKb. wivi. ^^^^ WEAPONS DURING THE WAR. 186 History of Kent County, Maryland Col. Henry Hollingsworth, at Elkton, and Elisha Winters, at ChestertoAvn, were large manufacturers of muskets for the army of the Revolution, and the grain mills of Cecil and Kent furnished large sup- plies to the soldiers. Col. Isaac Perkins, of Kent, was indefatigable in his work of purchasing corn and wheat for the militar}- authorities, and in or- ganizing the militia, and was an efficient and gallant officer in the held. The house on High street, Ches- tertown, now owned bv Mrs. Wm. B. Usilton was one of the places where guns were made by a man named Smith and the house was afterwards used as a carriage factory, paint shop, etc. Private capital, aided by the government of Mary- land, conducted a large armory here during the Rev- olutionary War, and an old relic in the shape of a cannon was found and has been preserved to this da}^ This is the cannon that stood for so many years in front of the old Market House, then put in the school yard on Cross street, on the site of Davis & Satterfield's plant. It was remioved by Mr. John S. Vandergrift, a member of the old Kent Guards, and for 16 vears was buried in front of his barber shop and used as a hitching post. It now adorns the grounds about the home of Hope H. Barroll, Esq., on Chester River, near Chestertown. It weighs 2,500 pounds. A sad incident of Fourth of July celebrations oc- curred in Chestertown in 1845. The big cannon was located near the old engine house and pointed down Cross street. Just as one of the salutes was being fired, a colored woman, with a baby in her arms, was crossing over from A. L. Spark's (Candy Kitchen) History of Kent County, ^[aryland 187 corner to Bordley's corner. The wad from the can non struck the child, which was the daughter of Captain Vanhorn. and killed it instantly. In July, 1898, a meeting was held in Stam's Hall and resulted in the formation of the Ladies' Town Improvement Society. Every citizen and visitor points with pride to the results accomplished by this society. The public squares attest to their taste and aesthetic skill. ^Irs. Thomas W. Eliason was the first president. The Fountain Day in Chester- town was a great occasion. Through the kindness of Dr. C. A. Grise, of WilnVington, the fountain which now adorns Kent Square was brought to the attention of the ladies. Wednesday, June 15, 1890, a committee consisting of Mrs. Hope H. Barroll, Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur W. Hubbard, and Fred. G. Usilton purchased the |1,200 fcmntain. The honor of unveiling the fountain was won after an inter- esting contest by Miss Ida Orem Smith, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles S. Smith. Hon. James A. Pearce presided, and addresses were made by Gen. F. C. Latrobe, Harrison W. Vickers and Col. Wil liam J. Vannort. Without detracting from the work of the ladies, the personal supervision given to grading, laying walks and arranging for the foun- tain and park by Mr. W. W. Hubbard is worthy of recognition. Mrs. Hope H. Barroll, Mrs. James A. Pearce, ^Mrs. W. W. Hubbard, Mrs. W. B. Copper, ^Irs. M. A. Toulson, Mrs. William J. Vannort, Mrs. J. H. Spen- cer, Mrs. James Brice, Mrs. Joel R. Clements, Mrs. W. F. Jarrell, Mrs. Physick, Mrs. J. D. Bacchus, Mrs. R. H. Collins, Mrs. C. E. Crane, Mrs. L. W. 188 History of Kent County, Maryland Wickes, Mrs. William F. Kussell, Mrs. Allan A. Harris, Mrs. H. G. Simpers, Mrs. Merrick Clements, Mrs. C. R. Twilley and other ladies have given much time to these public improvements. A public drink- ing fountain is the gift of the Hon. James A. Pearce and occupies a place on the edge of the square on Cross street. Mrs. Harriett L. Hill donated a foun- tain near the News Building, at the head of Center Square. Only those who remember old conditions, and can now see the wonderful changes, can appre- ciate the magnificent work done by these ladies in so short a time. Unsightly buildings, such as the mar- ket house, engine house, have disappeared ; dump heaps in the center of the town have given place to grass plots, and a fountain sends up a cooling spray within a few feet of where was before a grazing lot for livery horses, or, after a rain, a pond for wading birds; shade trees now throw cooling shadows along cement walks through the large square. Woman as a factor in town improvement has been a brilliant success in Chestertown. She has done in three years what the men of Chestertown would not have accom- plished in three centuries. The first horseless carriage (automobile) ever seen in Chestertown, on the Eastern Shore of Mary- land, arrived in Chestertown Tuesday, August 8, 1900. It came from Tolchester, driven by Mr. Clark, accompanied by John S. Vandergrift. It took just 50 minutes to make the run. It was not many months afterwards wiien Mr. J. H. Sides and Dr. H. B. Simmons each were driving horseless car- riages. History of Kent County, Maryland 180 H "A O 2 O H W H M w Q o 190 History of Kent County, Maryland CHAPTER XXVI. The Noted Chester Bridge — Paradise for Lovers — A Rendezvous for Fishermen — Some Events That Have Transpired in Chestertoicn. Chester Bridge, which spans Chester River, was begun in 1802 by tlie following committee: Robert Wright, Benjamin Chambers, Samuel Chew, Wil- liam McKenney and Richard Tilghman, of Chester- town ; James Brown, William Chambers, R. E. Har- rison, Charles Vanderen and W. B. Hackett, of Queen Anne's. S. Betz, Thomas S. Burgess and Richard Frisby were afterwards named to fill vacan- cies. Chapter 76 of 1821 states that the bridge has been actually built and authorized a lottery to be drawn to reimburse those who erected it by private subscriptions. It was built by William Vannort, of Trenton, X. J., the grandfather of Col. William J. Vannort, Samuel Vannort and Mrs. J. H. Simpers. Mr. Vannort fell into the river the day it was completed and died a few days later from pleurisy. The stock of the company was put at |40,000, at |50 per share. The bridge was afterwards burned, the drawer changed and the whole rebuilt by lottery. In July, 1890, the bridge was purchased by the two counties of Kent and Queen Anne's for |11,400, and made free, it being previous to that time a toll bridge. As high as 500 teams crossed this bridge in one day during 1895. Cupid has found many a victim on this structure. As for fishing, this bridge is sometimes lined with white and colored anglers, and some fine rock, perch History of Kent County, Maryland UM and catfish have been hinded. In earlier years, wlien wild game was more plentiful than now, this was a favorite place from which local sportsmen brought down wild ducks. It was over this bridge that many of the sliows came to town, and many remember when the pro- prietors of a large circus made the elephant swim the river because of the reported unsafe condiliou of the bridge. The State Roads Commission took over this bridge in 1914 and propose to replace it with a magnificent concrete structure, it being a part of the imjiroved macadam road which has been built bv the State from the Delaware line clear through to Ocean Citv. CHESTER RIVER. By Geofge Alfred Towxsexd. Wise is the wild duck winging straight to thee, River of summer; from the cold Arctic sea, Coming like his fathers for centuries, to seek The sweet, salt pastures of tue far Chesapeake. S^vift 'twixt thy capes like sunset's purple coves. Shallow the channel glides through silent oyster groves. Round Kent's ancient isle by beeches brown. Cleaving the fruity farms to hustling Chestertown. Still like thy water-fowl yearly do I yearn In memory's migration once more to return, Where the dear old college from the gentle ridge O'erlooks the sunny village, the river and bridge. On the pier decrepit I do loiter yet. With my crafty crab lines and my homespun net, Till the silver fishes in pools of twilight swam. And stars played round my bait in the coves of calm. Sweet were the chinquapins growing by thy brink. Sweet the cool spring water in the gourd to drink. Beautiful the lilies when the tide declined, As if night receding had left some stars behind. 192 History of Kent County, Mary^land But when the peach tints vanished from the plain. Or struggled no longer the shad against the seine. Every reed in thy marsh unto music stirred, And to gold it blossomed in a singing bird. Silent the otter, stealing by the moon Through the marshy places, hears the howl of the loon; Motionless the setter in the dawnlight gray, Shows the happy hidden cove where the wild ducks play. Hrmely are thy boatmen, venturing no more In their dusky pungies than to Baltimore, Happy when the freshet from northern mountains sweeps. And strews the bay with lumber like wrecks upon the deep. From the mightier Empire of the solid land, A pilgrim infrequent I seek thy fertile strand, And with a calm affection would wish my grave to be Where falls the Chester to the bay, the bay unto the sea. The records show that as early as 1648 the dig- nity of the court and the sacredness of the oath was most jealously gnarded in Kent, bnt at the same time it shows that perjnry was not unknown, as was attested by the sentence of one John Gonore, who was convicted of swearing falsely "att a conrt held at Henry Morgan's att Kent, 22nd January." John Gonore, not having anything to say for his defense, more than that it was the first time that he ever committed the like offense, the court adjudged him to be nailed by both ears to the pillory with a nail in each ear, and the nails to be slit out, and afterwards to be whipped with 20 good lashes. And this to be executed immediately before any other business of court be proceeded upon. Two clippings from the old Maryland Gazette throw light upon that period in the life of the town : '^Friday, May 3, 1745 — At Kent county school in Chestertown, Maryland, young gentlemen boarded, History of Kent County, ^Mauylaxd lOli and taught the Greek and Latin Tongues, Writing, Arithmetic, Merchants, Accounts, Surveying, Navi- gation, the use of the Globes b}' the hirgest pair in America; also any other parts of the Mathematics, by Charles Peale. "N. B. Young gentlemen may be instructed in Fencing and Dancing by very good blasters.'' In the issue of the Maryland Gazette of Friday, June 14, 1745, was this item: "On Friday last Hector Grant, James Hornev and Ester Anderson were executed at Chester, in Kent County, jiursuant to their sentence for the murder of their late mas- ter. The men were hanged, the woman burned. They died penitent, acknowledging their crimes and the justice of their punishment.-' What the ground for the barbarous discrimina- tion between the punishment of the men and of the woman does not appear, and its justification would seem to be difficult. During the late Civil War Chestertown, like hun- dreds of other places, became the temporary home of the soldier. From October 7, 1861, to February 7, 18G2, a regiment of Federal soldiers known then as the 2nd Eastern Shore Maryland Volunteers, un- der the command of the late Col. Edward Wilkins, encamped on the land of the late Dr. Thomas H. Whaland, near Chestertown. Dr. Whaland's lands were at the time of the en- campment in hay and wheat, and during tlie six months' occupancy these crops were totally de- stroyed. Up to the present time the Government has never made any payment to Dr. \\'haland or his heirs in the discharge of what seems to be a 194 History of Kent County, Maryland debt incurred purely in the interest of the United States. One of the biggest events in Chestertown's his- tory was on August 8, 1851, when three men were hanged for the murder of William Cosden and fam- ily, on the Moody farm. They were taken to the Whaland lot, adjoining Chester cemetery, seated in an open wagon, followed by two troops of dragoons commanded by Captains Beck and Wallis of Kent, also a troop from Queen Anne's and a civil corps of 200 men, all under Col. William Camp. There were 8,000 people in town, five steamers being at the wharf, and many people slept all night in tents so as to be here at sunrise. Another notable event was that of the celebration of the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States by the colored people. Over 3,000 persons were in line, with flags, transparencies and decorated wagons. The ''Wor- ton Band" gave a second rendition of the "Old Cow" with variations. Speeches were made in the woods by General Crawford, H. K. Torbert, Rev. H. H. Garnett and a number of others. On October 11, 1882, the Democratic Judicial Con- vention met in the old Armory and nominated Hon. John M. Robinson for chief judge and Hons. Joseph A. Wickes and Frederick Stump for asso- ciates. At night the nominees were serenaded at the Voshell House by the Excelsior Band, and speeches from the balcony were made by ex-Gov- ernor Philip Frank Thomas, Col. William Henry Legg and others. History of Kent County, Maryland 195 On August 28, 1893, one of the higliest tides ever known was witnessed in Chestertown, as the result of a heavy rain and strong east wind. Rowboats skimmed about Water street as far up as Mrs. Brown's residence, and persons from ;>rrs. A\'atts' boarding-house (the old Chambers residence) had to be boated across to High street. The water was nine feet above the mean level, and, according to Mr. Charles Estes, it was six inches higher than in 187G. It was impossible to do any cooking in many of the dwellings along the river, and many were compelled to go elsewhere for eatables. The families living in the submerged district were W. N. E. Wickes, Dr. W. F. Hines, E. F. Perkins, Mrs. Barroll, Mrs. Meeteer, B. F. Fleming, H. M. Brown, K. D. Hyn- son, J. K. Aldridge, Mrs. M. E. Watts, E. C. Reiche, John Brice. An event of more than passing interest was the great Children's Carnival, held at Chestertown in May, 1898. Four hundred children, beautifully costumed, paraded the streets to the music of two bands, while several street pianos enlivened the public square. Frizes were awarded for various excellencies and ice-cream served to all. At night declamation and singing contests were held in Stam's Hall. Several thousand people were in town, and every citizen vied in decorating and making it a great occasion. Monday evening, September 25, 1910, Chestertown was the scene of the largest conflagration ever wit- nessed here. The blaze started in Davis & Satter- field's blacksmith shop at 7 P. M., and burned for four hours. Twentv business houses and a half 196 History of Kent County, Maryland dozen homes burned. Cheste^to^^^l's Volunteer Fire- men, under Chief Harry Cannon, did heroic work and got control of the flames when the}' reached IMoffett's store on High street, across from Voshell House. AYilmington sent aid, arriving here at 11.30 o'clock, and connected their hose with the river, and did good work on the dying embers. Loss fOO,- 000, covered by insurance to about one-half. Tempo rar}^ business structures were erected on the square opposite the Court House until new places could be constructed. Elegant brick business houses re- placed the burned buildings. History of Kent County, ^rAUYLANo III' CHAPTER XXVII. Notahle Houses in Chesfertotvn— First Hotels- Chester Cemetery Donated — The Old Graveyard — The Neivspapers. Chestertown contains a number of stately homes suggesting- the generous styles which prevailed among those of wealth or influence. Conspicuous among these was the Wright house on the river — afterwards the home of Judge Ezekiel F. Chambers, and now the residence of Wilbur W. Hubbard. This is a fine example of the dignified architecture of the period. The old Bowers home in the center of the town, owned and occupied by Judge John B. Eccleston, was most impressive by reason of its surroundings. It occupied almost an entire large square, enclosed b}' a high brick wall, pierced by several grated gates which gave charming glimpses of the noble grove of horse chestnuts in which the house was set. The dwelling was of simple archi- tecture, with ample hall and rooms, long sloping roof embracing a deep porch, and with unobtrusive view of the river at the foot of the street. It yielded in 1863 or 1864 to the march of improvement and the grounds are now the site of the princii>al hotel of the town, the home of Samuel Vannort, and of the Methodist Episcopal Church. T. W. Eliason's building was in use in 1775 as a hotel, the oflice occupied by Wm. Eliason being used as a bar room. In 1855 Mr. Eliason purchased it of the heirs of the original patentees of the town, 198 History of Kent County, Maryland and since then it has been used for mercantile pur- poses. This building was a contemporary of B. F. Fleming's home, Mrs. DeCorse's "Beck" house, the Westcott Foundry House, and other buildings. It was in this building, now replaced by dwellings, that the society known as the ''Sons of the Revolution" was formed. A hotel was kept on Queen street, where Mr. William Robinson's shoe shop and house stood. It was kept hj a Mr. Poston, and afterwards by a Mr. Ware, and in June, 1861, by Charles Thompson, giving way in later years to a private house. The old jail was built in 17934, and cost 1,200 pounds. The commissioners were Jeremiah Nichols, Richard Tilghman, Benjamin Chambers, Simon Wilmer, James Smith; Thomas Worrell, sheriff. The present jail was built in 1881, by H. M. Stuart, contractor, at a cost of |13,500. The commissioners were C. P. Loper, John B. Parrott, R. C. Smyth, V. Hendrickson and J. Charles Wheatley; John W. Parsons was sheriff. The present Court House was built in 1860, Mr. Thomas W. Eliason being at the head of the committee; Judge Chambers on the bench. The county levied |12,000, but the cost was only 111,254. Armstrong's hotel was built in 1879, and is now turned into a garage and rooming house. In January, 1784, a market was established on the ^^Square," afterwards improved by the old Market House, which was torn down in 1895, and for years all wagons were compelled to come to this place to sell their vegetables, poultry, etc. A wood corder History of Kent County, Maryland 1!)0 was appointed in 1792, and he got six-pence for each cord. A cord was 8 feet long and 4x4. Tlie Voshell House was opened in 18G4, and tlie cost was 128,000. C. T. Kinggold was the con- ■ "MHB'y^ !^ BIRD'S-EYE VIEW OF PARKS IN CHESTERTOWN— ARRANGED CY LADIES OF town. tractor. It is now the property of J. S. Bradley, who bought it of Capt. W. D. Burchinal, for |11,300, and managed by Geo. Lambert and his mother, ''Aunt Tempie." In 18G3 the whole square now occupied by the Methodist Episcopal Church, Samuel Vannort, Mrs. Moody and others was purchased by :\rrs. A. W. Voshell for |5,506. 200 History op Kent County, Maryland In 1883 the first steps w ere taken to discard the old graveyard that was walled around and estab- lished in the last century. When the new jail was built the remains were taken up and removed to other burial places. Among the remains were Capt. Aquilla M. Usilton, who commanded a company of artillery at the battle of Caulk's Field; he died in 1838; Anthony Banning, died December 27, 1787, aged 47; and Capt. James Crane, who lost his life from falling off his horse in April, 1798. Chester cemetery was donated by Hon. George Yickers in 1861, and is one of the most beautiful burying places in the State. In 1880 H. W. Yickers, Esq., was elected president of the company. A neat iron fence incloses the grounds. The first body in- terred there was that of the late Senator Jas. A. Pearce. The Watts House was known as the "Exchange Hotel" in 1827, and was kept by George Neal. The late John Hall kept the place for many years, and was followed by S. H. Crawford. T. W. Eliason bought the property several years ago and improved it. Miss Watts now conducts the house successfully. Chestertown was poorly provided with a town hall until Colin F. Stam, one of its enterprising citizens, constructed the hall which now bears his name in 1886, at a cost of about |15,000. The town clock was placed there b}^ subscriptions from citizens of the town, at a cost of about |1,000. On account of the failing health of Mr. Stam, he concluded to sell this property for |12,500 to the following company: H. H. Barroll, T. E. Hayes, Thos. G. Wroth, H. W. Yickers, E. H. Collins. Mr. Stam died in August, History of Kent County, Maryland 201 ^ An old' timo hatol now belonging to THOMAS W. ELIASON, ON HIGH STREET. CHESTERTOWN. 202 History of Kent County, Maryland 1898. It was afterwards sold to a company headed by L. B. Russell, remodeled and greatly improved and the name changed to Chestertown Lyceum. The Postoffice was moved into this building in 1914 and the Stam Drug Company took the building opposite. Books were opened in 1827 to receive subscrip- tions to build Masonic Hall, now known as the Kent News Building. The ground, 60 x 40 feet, was given the order (Clinton Lodge) by an act of the Legisla- ture in 1826. It has been changed over and over again, and is noAV occupied by S. Scott Beck, Beck- Walker Co., Frank V. Simpers and the "Xews." It is owned by Fred G. Usilton, who purchased it in 1896. The Kent News removed to this building in December, 1851. In 1825 the Chestertown Tele- graph, the first newspaper ever published in the county, was under the proprietorship of a Mr. Michael, who was succeeded by Mr. Cann. In the '30- s the name of the paper was changed to the Kent Bugle and was published for some years by Capt. Wm. P. Mathews. A copy of the Bugle dated September 9, 1837, gives the market as follows: Wheat, white, |1.60 and |1.70; red, |1.50 and 11.55; corn, yellow, 90c. and 92c.; white, 90c. and 95c.; rye, 70c. oats, 30c. Captain Mathews was succeeded by George Vickers, then came Spencer and Crane, then owned by the late Senator Vickers. In 1839, the name of the paper was changed to the Kent News. In 1849 to '58 it was published by Edward Mansfield. James M. Vickers took charge and published the paper until November, 1860. On the 17th of November, James H. Plummer and Wm. B. Usilton became the editors. History of Kent County, Maryland lMI3 It is now owned hj Wm. B, Usilton's sons, FilmI. (}. and William B. The second oldest paper is the Transcript, founded by Eben F. Perkins, Esq., in 18G0. Major Perkins front of th^ old ^tijlG THE LATE HON. JOSEPH A. WICKES' HOME. was succeeded in its publication bv the late Samuel E. Sullivan, formerly publisher of the Centreville Times. Mr. Sullivan was succeeded by Mr. Casper G. Woodall, also of Queen Anne's, who disposed of the paper to Collins & Hopper, both of well-known Queen Anne's families. They were succeeded by a company and the editors are R. Harrison Collins and Thomas D. Bowers. 204 History of Kent County, Maryland An incident of that period of 1860 is here given : General Schenek had charge of the Department of Maryland with headquarters in Baltimore; John Frazier was '^provost marshall of Kent County/' and military law was in the ascendant. The county elections were about to take i^lace. J. B. Ricaud was the Union candidate for State Senator and J. K. Hines for clerk. John Frazier wanted to be clerk himself, and a full ticket was put out with his name at the head, and on the day before the election two large government transport steamers arrived in Chester town loaded with soldiers — cavalry and in- fantry. The military officers proceeded to arrest every one presumed to be in the way of Frazier's ambition for the clerkship ! Hines and Ricaud, Col. Edw. Wilkins and other candidates were seized ; the jail was forced open and prisoners released, and Deputy-Sheriff Benjamin placed under arrest; next came the judges of election — John T. Dodd, Charles Stanley and Thomas Baker — who were accompanied by a squad of soldiers to the prison steamer to keep the others company. Lastly the News office was sur- rounded by soldiers and an armed squad invaded it and issued orders for the conduct of the election which was to take place the following day. In troubling the types they ruined their cause. The editors Avere directed to print a certain circular order, which they refused to do at first, but after- wards wisely changed their minds. They printed the order and retained a copy. It w^as to the effect that at the election next day nothing but a League ticket should be voted and soldiers at every poll in Kent County were directed to see this carried out. The History of Kent County, Maryland LM)."; editors were then honored like the others — tli;il is, placed in charge of armed soldiers and niarcluMl to the wliarf, where they found in the dark h)\ver saloon of one of the steamers the distinguished citi- zens previously arrested. About ten o'clock the steamers landed the prisoners in Baltimore; on the Avay over they met two transports loaded with Home Guards coming home to vote. Imagine their sur- prise upon reaching home to find Avliat had been done. Great indignation was expressed and an in- formal election was held in one of the camps wlien Hines beat Frazier ten to one. George Vickers and George B. Westcott went to Baltimore by rail and the infamous political plot was exposed to General Schenck. The General expressed great indignation and said: ''Gentlemen, if there is a steamer in Bal- timore harbor that can be had that can do it, you shall be landed at Chestertown bv davbreak I" He made his word good. Just as the day was breaking the "prisoners-' were landed at Thompson's wharf, and before noon Frazier and his man Tevis were under arrest and on their wav to Baltimore. Rock Hall — Its Early Days. Somewhere about 1707 Rock Hall, that liabitat oC the watermen, was picked out by the cohniists as a place of abode, and since then has grown into a thriving town of many hundreds. New Yarmouth, Grey's Inn, was picked out as the capital some years previous, but this was changed in 1707 ;uid moved to Chestertown. The old Rock Hall packet is now only a memory. It landed the mails, passengers and 206 History op Kent County, Maryland products of the land and water three times a week on Bowly's wharf. Kain or shine, wind or calm, the packet came. It was owned by Captain Harris, who could not see that steamboats must take the place of his sailing packet. For some years he fought against his harbor being a landing, although the natural outlet for Kent County, being in the bay and the nearest point to Baltimore, and in former days the route by which passengers reached the South, a regular daily packet sailing for Annapolis, which was fitted up with every convenience for man, beast and carriages. George Washington and other noted men in their diaries refer to the trip from Annapolis to Kock Hall on a large schooner. The opposition of Captain Harris, who feared the steam- boats would ruin his packet business, compelled the steamboat owners to select another point, Grey's Inn, for a landing place, which, although only two miles from Eock Hall, was twenty-five miles farther from Baltimore, and a four to five hours' trip, in- stead of less than two, as at present. The Govern- ment has had the old landing at Rock Hall dug out, and a fine, safe harbor is now open to the public, with one of the best piers and warehouses to be found on the bay. But owing to the fact that Cap- tain Sharp, the owner, wanted to dictate a certain schedule for steamers, the Chester River Steamboat Company bought land and built a wharf at Grati- tude, which has continued to be used to this day. The Sharp wharf was used for a few years as a stop- ping place for the Enterprise Company. It was no uncommon thing to see a hundred carriages there waiting for the arrival of the packet, which seldom History of Kent County, Maryland 2fl7 failed to arrive on time, as the packet was fitted up with sweeping oars and hands to work them in case of a calm. In former times Rock Hall was only known as a landing, with an old house, postottice and stabling, but now the farm on the bay, known from the earliest date of Kent's history as Rock Hall, taking its name not from the rocks, of which there are none to be seen, but from a large haul of rock fish before Baltimore had a corporation. Lately the name has been usurped by the village of Rock Hall, which is one of the most thriving and handsome villages on the shore, with a number of stores, two schoolhouses — one with 200 scholars, the other some 75 to 80 — a first-class bakery, two barber shops, drug store, hotel, blacksmiths, lumber yard, livery stable, two butchers, carpenters and painters. The chief source of prosperity comes from the water — fish, oysters and crabs. There is here a fine canning plant, giving work to many hands during the canning season. It is said since the channel was cut to deep water in the bay, through which the tide runs rapidly, the crabs and fish have been more abundant, and it is no uncommon thing to ship one to five hundred bar- rels of crabs to Baltimore and Philadeli)hia daily. Thousands of bushels of ovsters are tonged dailv when weather permits the oyster fleet to go on the bar. Owing to the extraordinary' health of the neigh- borhood, it is becoming a great resort in summer for those seeking health and pleasure, and during the past four seasons the Rock Hall boarding houses have been filled with boarders from the city. 208 History of Kent County, Maryland With the view of obtaining a supply of pure water another artesian well has recently been sunk by the OAvner of the landing and farm, and the geological formation passed through is of interest, as certain facts were developed that were not known before — e. g., the thickness of the strata above the u})per ])ortion of the lower cretaceous or chalk rock from which the flowing waters come. This latter forma- tion had never been found before on the Eastern Shore, although many deeper wells have been sunk down the bay. Three hundred feet of the miocene, eocene and upper cretaceous strata were passed through, and at the bottom of the latter a hard pan or crust was reached, Avhich, after much difficulty in drilling through the lower cretaceous strata, was found directly under the crust a water-bearing white sand, from which the Avater flows eight feet above tidewater with a uniform temperature of GO degrees. The water is remarkably free from all mineral or organic matter, except a slight trace of iron, which is held in solution by carbonic acid, of which there is abundance in the Avater. The inference is that the water passes under the bay toward the ocean, and comes from the elevated cretaceous sand of the Severn. A Thousand Sail Out for Opening of the Tonging Season. Eock Hall is the center of the Kent County oyster industry, and this sketch is from the memory of the Avriter during the earlier days before the gasoline engine came nor the |5.00 per day jobs in j)owder plants. HiSTOiiY OF Kent Cuuxtv, Mahvla XI > I'd!) lu piepariug for the opening- of tlie season nil was activity and life. Every little detail was heiii*;- at- tended to and made ready for the "first day's catch/' Some of the quaint little arks in which the ovster- A TONGING SCENE OFF ROCK HALL BEFORE THE MOTOR BOATS CAME. men live had been towed to their si a lions on ihe bav shore, in proximity to the distant oyster beds. Some, however, were still being fitted out. Beds and blan- kets were being stored away in the bnnks. and bright new pans and cooking utensils were nnpacked in readiness for honsekeei)ing. Over the door of every one of the arks is nailed an old horseshoe for 210 History op Kent County^ Maryland good luck. About G50 boats make Rock Hall their headquarters during the season, and upward of 2,000 persons are engaged in this industry. The average tonger's outfit consists of a pair of large rakes, one pair of tongs and a pair of nippers for shallow water. They have also a culling board, culling ham- mers, two half-bushel baskets and an iron half-bushel measure. When the sun arose this first morning 1,000 sails dotted the waters of the Chesapeake Bay off Rock Hall and on the oyster beds of Chester River to be- gin the tonging season. About midnight the little oystering village began to stir, and about 2 o'clock in the morning the early birds set sail to catch the first oysters of the new season. The miain body of the great fleet of prettily painted boats did not get under way, however, until about daylight. The out- look for oysters is good, and one old oysterman who has spent 55 seasons between the shafts of the oyster tongs, after scanning the little bay, in which was a forest of masts of oyster craft, said : ^'The boys ought to gather up 3,000 bushels tomorrow." It is said that the Maryland oyster of good size lays about 16,000,000 eggs, and if half of these were to develop into female oysters we should have from a single female 8,000,000 female descendants in the first generation, and in the second 8,000,000 times 8,000,000, or 64,000,000,000,000. In the fifth genera- tion nearly 33,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,- 000,000 female oysters and as many males, or, in all, about 66,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,- 000. If each oyster fills eight cubic inches of space, it is argued, it would take 8,000,000,000,000,000,000,- History of Kent County, Maryland 211 000,000,000,000,000 to make a mass as large as the earth; thus it may be seen that the five generations of descendants from a single oyster, if allowed to accumulate, would cover the world eight times. As the oyster lives for many years, however, and lays eggs each year, the possible rate of increase is very much greater than shown. The enormous propor- tions of these figures are beyond the conception of the human mind, but they serve to give an idea of the possibilities of Maryland's resources when the oystermen of the State once become alive to the sit- uation and begin measures tending toward the pres- ervation of this vast gold mine of wealth. There seems to be no end to the varietv of articles taken from the Chesapeake Bav ovster beds bv the tongers and dredgers. Last year a Rock Hall oys- terman brought up a tombstone. About ten days ago a tonger was astonished to find a human skull in his tongs, and several days ago a fully equipped gasoline stove came up with the tongs. LJ12 History of Kext County, Maryland CHAPTER XXIX. A XoTED Resort. TolcJiester Beach Famed Far and Wide — The Life Work of One Man — Founded in 1877 and Used for Picnics. The history of the Tolchester Beach Improvement Company of Kent County is practically the life story of one man, Ayho in his boyhood days heard the irresistible call of Ayind and Ayaye and wisely yielded to their witchery. Even so practical a place as a man's business office gradually acquires a cer- tain suggestion of the personality of its OAvner, and hv(» objects framed and hung upon the walls of the ottice of the Tolchester Steamboat Company, on Light street, Baltimore, convey to the observing eye and mind a strong suggestion of the mental charac- teristics of Captain William C. Eliason, organizer, ])resident and manager of this company. The first is a colored drawing of the model of the hull of a steamboat — the little craft Lamokin — that once plied upon the Delaware, and was the first boat with which the man was associated; the other is five lines of verse printed in large letters, neatly framed in dark wood and so hung that it meets the eje from almost any jjart of the room. The verse reads : It is easy enough to be pleasant When life flows by like a song, But the man worth while Is the man who can smile When everything goes dead wrong. History of Kent County, ^rARYLAXi* 2\?* For several years under the supervision of the Messrs. Taggart, Captain ICliason was identified with the excursion and regnhir steand)oat naviga- tion of the Dehiware. Then the steamer IMlot Bov HIGH TIDE AT TOLCHESTER, 1916. being for sale, the Messrs. Taggart conceived Ihe idea of purchasing it, buying some hmd upon the bay shore of Maryland, securing a wharf in lialli- more and opening an excursion resort witliin a few hours' ride of the city. They offered Captain Elia- son the management of the enterprise, provided lie purchase a one-fourth interest in the boat and undertaking. 214 History of Kent County, Maryland It was a big risk for a young man to stake his all upon an uncertainty, but the opportunity also had exceptional advantages. So the enterprise was launched in a very modest way in the year 1877. Ten acres of land comprised the company's posses- sions at Tolchester Beach, in Kent County, 23 miles east of Baltimore, on the Eastern Shore of Mary- land, and 12 miles from Chestertown. The beach was then a crude picnic ground. There was a little wharf, one small building, a couple of sheds, a diminutive hand-propelled flying-horse ma- chine and a hand organ. These were the modest im- provements, but the tree-crowned bluff was a pic- turesque one, the beach a white-shelled, white-sanded slope, with bracing salt-water bathing. The company opened its resort with the announce- ment that the place would be strictly under temper- ance management, with no liquor sold upon the boat. This was a distinct innovation, and it was predicted that an excursion line founded upon temperance principles was foredoomed to a brief and profitless existence. Far from these gloomy predictions being realized, the example of temperance management set by the Tolchester Company has been followed since by most of the excursion boats now navigating the Chesapeake Bay. So to this little bayside resort plied the tiny steamer Pilot Boy, whose capacity w^as 600 passen- gers. Captain Eliason was manager, clerk of the steamer, clerk of wharf, excursion agent — even deck- hand, as necessity required it. Under the energetic direction the enterprise expanded like the Biblical grain of mustard seed. Each vear a few more acres History of Kent County, ^Faryland 21 : 01 ^j of land or some improveuients were added as the patronage steadily increased. From the small beginning with the Pilot Boy the Tolchester Company has grown under the enthu- siastic and progressiye management of Captain Elia- son to the proportions of one of the most important steamboat corporations of Maryland. Tolchester Beach now embraces 155 acres, with a picturesque and commodious hotel perched breezily upon a bluff. From its wide yerandas a beautiful sweep of the Chesapeake Bay is yisible, and the grounds sur- rounding this summer inn are terraced to the beach and shaded with wide-spreading trees. In early spring the sod is blue with yiolets, and locust trees, laden with, white and perfumed blossoms, outline the curving shore. Inland from the beach are sev- eral lakes, hedged with green trees and flowering shrubs, on w^hose quiet waters float the broad leaves and wondrous blossoms of the water lily. The Tolchester Company now owns and oi)erates the steamers Louise, Emma Giles, Susquehanna and Annapolis. In addition to the Tolchester Hotel and excursion grounds the company has wharf property in Baltimore and Annapolis and on the West, Little Choptank, Sassafras and Susquehanna Rivers. The officers of the company at tlie present time are: President and manager, William C. Kiias(m; secretary, William H. Hudson; treasurer, John ^L Naudain. The offices of the company are at Piers 14, 15, 16 and 17 Light street. In 1899 the Sassafras River Steamboat Company was absorbed bv the Tolchester Line and the steam- 216 History of Kent County, Maryland ers and property of that company added to the lat- ter company, thus securing the steamers Sassafras and Kitty Knight to the Tolchester fleet. Both of these boats were rephiced by better boats. The Kitty Knight ran out of Worton Creek for many years and Ayas known as the Trumpeter or Van CourUier. History of Kent County, ^rAUYr^AXD 'J 17 CUArTEK XXX. ''Fish Hall/' the Most Jitterestiny .Spot in Bctlcilon. To the westward old ''Fish llali;' tlir firsl lioiiso ever built in Betterton, stands like a li.nhiliouse (»ii ;i cliff. The bricks in its chimney were broiiolii froin old England more than a century ago. When (he first of the Crew family, ^]d^vard Cre^v, sailed from the old country and settled upon the farm where Betterton is now located, a friendly tribe of Indians who liyed in the rayine below helped him to cut and hew the trees and assisted in lading the fonndalioii of old ''Fish Hall." Here Edward Crew and liis wife, Elizabeth Hanson, reared a family of sous who early loyed to sail and fish upon the beautiful waters of the hay and rivers stretching beyond llieir home. For generations the Crews of "Fisli Hall" had watched the incomings and outgoings of th'^' fmuy tribe until now old Chesai)eake has attracted crowds of inhabitants to the high bluffs and slopiug vales of the modern village. Here on a summer's uiorning the light skiff's are steered to the lishiug banks or wrecks with the light and airy motion of seagulls. This old relic was torn down a few uumdis ago, and beneath the floors were found skulls whicli were sujt- posed to keep the "spooks'' away. A more beautiful scene is hard to find than is beheld from the ]»oitico of Turner's Rigbie as we look out upon the broad s^yeep of splendid vista. The distant Susquelianua, the fair and lovely Sassafras, High Point, the Grove dividing it by a thin line froui the flowing Elk. the Island of lr^pesutiae and the bold front of Turkey Point, Avith its friendly signal light that never fnils. 218 History of Kent County, Maryland SHADBAKE AT BETTERTON. By the Bentztown Bard. Ten miles of Chesapeake, crossing the bay: Ten miles of Kentland across the blue way. Shadbake at Betterton all afternoon. Deep in the dream of the spring magic rune. Shad out of Eden, in Eden prepared, Hot rolls like those that were made when they fared On golden ambrosia in Helicon's prime. When lips sang of love and the honey dripped rhyme. Shadbake at Betterton! Don't make a noise This is a sort of a sacrament, boys! Food on the Chesapeake isn't just eat. But something artistic and sacred and sweet: Something quite matchless and magic and rare. Like goblets of dew on a breaker of air When clover has ripened and wheat's on the way In footsteps of music o'er meadows of May. Ten miles of Chesapeake — maybe it's m.ore! Ten miles of Kentland, with naiads on the shore. And sea nymphs and gods of old legend to guide Your feet to the table, with youth on your side, And shad served in glory as nowhere on earth 'Tis served with a flavor that turns into mirth Each mouthful you swallow — your eyes turned above As you taste baked elation, and beauty, and love. Shadbake at Betterton — ten miles away Gleams the loved Kentland and sings the blue bay! Morning has served it with skies of soft blue, Songs of cock robin and honey and dew. Gods on Olympus still wonder at night Where Betterton shadbakes have been, for a bite; There in the grass searching early and late For one little crumb someone left on a plate. History of Kent County, ^r.vRYLAND 219 "FISH HALL," THE FIRST HOUSE BUILT IN BETTERTON, IN 1698, AND OWNED BY EDW. CREW. 220 Hlstouy of Kent County, Maryland CHAPTER XXXI. SJiell BanJiS Made hij Indians — Happy Bunting Gronnds. The central part of Kent County and that portion which lies on Chesapeake Bay comprise a district the greater part of which is very fertile, and pos- sesses commercial advantages equal if not superior to any part of the State. Intersected in every direc- tion by broad and navigable creeks, bounded on the north bv the river Sassafras, on the south bv the Chester, and on the west b}^ the beautiful expanse of the Chesapeake, our great commercial emporium is brought within a convenient distance to every farmer. Among the most imj)ortant of these creeks may be mentioned the following, viz : Langford's Bay, Gray's Inn, Swan, Tavern, Mor- gan's, flowing into the Chester; Still Pond, Churn, £. Worton, Farley, emptying into the Chesapeake, and E.- Turner's and Llovd's, which flow into the Sassafras. Many of these are a quarter of a mile wide and . are navigable by vessels of 50 tons nearly to their sources. The face of the country is equally" removed from the mountainous region and the continued plain. Gently swelling hills, covered with forest trees, everywhere adorn the surface, and fertile fields and winding streams add to the variety and beauty of the prospect. History of Kent Colxty, Mauvi.and L'lM Worton, Faii'lee and the bayside generally, from the Sassafras to the Chester, form a district remark able for its fertility, and the nnmerons shell l>anUs along the shore constitute a source of manure at once rich and inexhaustible. The origin of these immense collections of shells has long been a subject of dispute. It is generally ackno>vledged that the peninsula comprehended be- tAveen the Avaters of the Delaware and Chesapeake is an alluvion. It is, however, certain that the pe- riod at which the waters receded must be extremely remote. The depth of the soil, which is indisputably of A^egetable origin, and the large growth of timber, which covers, or (to speak more strictly) did at the time of its settlement cover, the Avhole face of the country, must be the work of many centuries. The first opinion respecting the formation of these shell banks is that they assumed their present form in consequence of the currents and tides of the sea, at a time when the whole country was in a state of submersion. In support of this hypothesis it is urged that the aboriginal population must have ex- ceeded all calculation hitherto made, otherwise these numerous and extensive banks could not have been formed by them. The advocates of this theory also have recourse to the well-known fact ol the existence of collections of the exuvia? of testaceous animals and limestone quarries, in situations far inland, universally believed to have been submerged at some remote period. On the other hand, it is argued that the aborigi- nal inhabitants drew their subsistence entirely from two sources, hunting and fishing; and when it is 222 History of Kent County, Maryland considered that many thousands or hundreds of thousands of Indians inhabiting the extensive coun- try between the Delaware Bay and the Alleghany Mountains must have derived a considerable portion of their food, for probably some thousands of years, from the Chesapeake and its branches, it cannot appear so unreasonable to account for the formation of shell banks in this way. It is worthy of notice that these banks are not intermixed with sand (which, on the supposition of submarine formation, would be the case), but with a rich black vegetable mould, and that some are found at places where tra- dition informs us Indian towns were situated, on creeks where no species of shell fish are now known to exist. Without violating probabilities, we can easily suppose that the oysters may have been taken in the rivers and conveyed in canoes to the settle- ments. These settlements, or solitary cabins, were always located on the water. This intermixture of vegetable mould puts it be- 3^ond question that these collections could not have been formed while in the state of submersion. One other circumstance, of some weight in deciding the question, may be noticed. These collections are well known to consist entirely of oyster shells, together with the bones of deer and other animals of the chase. Now if they were of submarine formation, these collections would be found to consist of all kinds of shells which exist in our waters, of which there is a considerable variety. Along the haj shore on Kennard's Point, Howell's Point, Fairlee Farm, and other places these shell beds may be found, some extending from 15 to 25 History of Kent County, Maryland 223 feet in deptli. Kelics consisting of Indian arrows, etc., have been dug up and even an Indian skull. Oysters in abundance could be caught off these points some years ago and it is said that these oys- ter-shell banks grew up from frequent councils lu'ld by Indians of the colonies who held their meetings here frequently. Mrs. W. S. Maxwell, of near Still Pond, has a splendid collection of relics found in these shell mines. Time, the destroyer of all things, has broken down these shells, and reduced them to a state of imper- fect calcination; and being intermixed, not in alter- nate strata, but irregularly through the whole mass, with a rich mould, they form a manure which ex- tensive experiments have proved to be of a superior quality. To the residents of this Bay Shore the encroach- ments made upon their lands by the bay have been remarkable. One of the best examples is to be found on ''EUendale," ow^ned by Smith Bros., midway be- tween Rock Hall and Tolchester, a half-mile race track was made between the house and bay some years ago, but today the water has encroached to within a few yards of the house. Captain John Smith Discovers '^'^Tochwogh" (Sas- safras) River. Capt. John Smith (he of the Pocahontas story known to every school child), after discovering the Susquehanna river (1608) sailed down from the mouth of that river along the eastern side of the bay. Upon reaching the river now known as the 224 History of Kent County, Maryland Sassafras he gave it the name of '•Tochwogh" in honor of the tribe of Indians of that name he found living on its southern banks. In his report of his voyage up the bay he states : On the eastern side of the hsij is the river Tochwogh, and upon it a people that can make one hundred men (Avarriors) seated some seven miles within the river, where thev have a fort very well pallizadoed and mantelled with barkes of trees. Entering the river Tochwogh, the savages all armed in a fleet of boats, after their barbarious manner, round invironed us; so it chanced one of them could speak the language of Powhatan, who persuaded the rest to a friendly par- ley^ — the}' conducted us to their pallizadoed towne mantelled with the barkes of trees, with scaffold like mounts brested about with breasts ver}^ formally. History of Kent County, Marylaxd 225 CHAPTER XXXII. '^MoNOMAC^'— An Indian Tale. By P. Wroth, J/. D. In pursuing my professional vocation, I often visited that locality (in Kent County) where tlie Churn and Still Pond Creeks, by one coniinon estuary, empty their waters into the Chesapeake Bay. On one of those visits I remember to have walked to the high bluff which looks down on the bay and to have stood under the shade of a ven- erable oak which stood near the edge of the bluff. Towards the south the eye took in the wide expanse of water to the mouth of the Patapsco River — on which the city of Baltimore is built — and north- ward to the mouth of the noble t^usquehanna. I sometimes indulge in a trip to the regions of Fancy, and on that ocasion my thoughts took a backward range and embraced the time when the Susquehannas, the Chesapeakes and the Nanti- cokes, numerous and powerful tribes of the aborig- ines, ranged over this extensive region as Lords of the Soil. The spot where I stood Avas near one of those immense shell banks which, doubtless, had been the site of a large Indian town. It is known tlial the aborigines drew their subsistence entirely from the woods and waters by the chase and taking fish and oysters, but many hundreds of years must have been required for the accumulation of those masses of shells. This venerable tree, I could not doubt, had shel- tered the heads of the Indians from the rays of the 226 History of Kent County, Maryland sun more than 500 years ago; and Fancy carried me back to the time when their council fires had blazed under perhaps this very tree. I fancied my- self present at one of these councils about the time when Colonel Clayborne settled Kent Island with a colony from Virginia, which some years before "SHEPHERD'S DELIGHT," A PART OF CAMELL'S WORTHMORE, BUILT ABOUT 1682 AND NOW THE HOME OF DR. SEWELL S. HEPBURN. LOCATED NEAR STILL POND STATION. I thought that had been colonized from England. I saw the Grand Sachem of the Chesapeake rise in all his native dignit}", and heard him thus address the assembled Avarriors : ''Brothers ! ''More than ten thousand moons have waxed and waned since the Great Spirit — the God of our Fathers — brought us to these hunting grounds. Our fathers had disobeyed his commands by worshipping History of Kent County, Maryland 2'2 idols — gods made with hands — and He drove our fathers from that bright and pleasant land, where the sun casts his first and brightest beams, to this western wild! "Brothers and braves! Our fathers repented — and the good and great Spirit commanded the sun to melt the snows which covered the Alleghany Mountains which lie towards the setting sun. "From these snows, as from a fountain, flowed the beautiful Susquehanna River. He planted the bottom of this wide water at our feet — the noble Chesapeake — with delicious oysters and animated it with fish. He caused the raccoon, the bear, the elk and the deer to fill our forests and cover the grassy plains. "Thus the land of our exile became even more plenteous than the first home the Great Spirit had given to our fathers. "Braves and brothers! Our hearts have become proud and ungrateful — and we too, like our fathers, are doomed to be driven from these loved hunting grounds ! "Brothers and braves! Last night I was resting under this tree after the fatigue of the chase, when the voice of the Great Spirit came over the dark water and said ^Monomac — Monomac — stand up! Look towards the island over which the sun stands at midday.' I arose and looked through the shades of night — when the heavens were clothed with a black mantle and the lightning flashed through the sky, and I saw mighty canoes, with wide-spread wings, flying swiftly through the air towards our shore like a hungrv eagle on his prey ! The canoes 228 History of Kent County, Maryland were filled with beings like ourselves — but whose skins were white as the snow which covers these hills in winter! T spoke and said, ^Ave these the messengers of good or evil?' The terrible voice re- plied, 'Of evil to you; for they will drive you from these hunting grounds far beyond the mountain which looms up toward the setting sun ; but of good to generations yet unborn!' '^Braves and brothers ! I believe the words of the Great Spirit — the God of our Fathers. Let us pre- pare to wander where destiny calls us. There, if we are humble and grateful, we may find the deer, the bear, and the buffalo to feed us with their flesh and clothe us with their skins," In imagination I saw the big tears welling down their manlv faces as thev drew near to their be- loved Sachem who had never turned his back to his enemies ! And — at this moment returning from my excursion to the region of Fancy, and looking tOAvard the countrv where once roamed the savage wild beast and the still more savage red man, now covered with the golden harvest and other evidences of civilization. Plain prose uoav took the place of l^oetic fancy ; the facts of everyday life could not be thrown aside, and I remembered that not one red man had been in these forests for more than 2,000 moons ! I left the shade of the magnificent and venerable oak — Avhich had braved the storms of seven or eight hundred winters, and mounting my sulky, drove rapidl}^ away. History of Kent Coixtv, ,Mai:vi.am» i!l'II CHAPTER XXXI II. Some Recollections. Kent County can i)()int with pride to tlic Iicalili fulness of its climate and to the longevity of life ol" many of her citizens. A good example is I'ound in "Aunt Mary" Thomas. ''Aunt Mary" was yisited at her home at the Clitfs, the lower part of Quaker X^eck, by the writer when she was rounding oul her ninety-sixth year. She remembered with yiyid distinctness the yast strides of progress in many departments of life. She recalled to her interviewer a few of theui, as follows: From cutting wheat with a sickle to self-binders; from the slow old stage coach of our ''daddies," of six miles an hour, to the express train of sixty miles; from six months to get a letter from Europe to six days, and the telegraph and all electrical iu- yentions and improyements ; diamond-back terrai>in at fiye cents each to |80 a dozen, oysters for the picking up to a hard time to get a mess, fish so plen- tiful that they Ayould almost bite you if you went in swimming; from the old packet line of schooneis lo an excellent and efficient steamboat service. Tweniy years ago there were seyen gates to open or bars lo let down to get to Mrs. Thomas' home from the main road, now there is a good road to the water's edge. Then her nearest neighbor was a (piarter of a niih> off, now houses are within calling distance. Mrs. Thomas says that she taught the lirst pri- mary school in the county, at the forks of the roads ft. • leading to Rock Hall and Pine Neck, in a house 230 History of Kent County, Maryland called ''Solomon-s Temple/' owned by Capt. Solo- mon Marine. It was difficult at that time to get teachers, and Mrs. Thomas was prevailed upon to teach the young idea how to shoot, receiving $300 per annum. Col. Fred Wilson, James Adkinson and her father were the trustees. She had 32. small MRS. MARY THOMAS, 96, AND HER HOME NEAR THE CLIFFS, IN QUAKER NECK. scholars and a number of larger ones. General Keed's daughter was an intimate friend, and the "young school marm" was in the habit of making fun of the General's large iron candlestick, saying that so wealthy a man should have silver or gold. He (the General) told her he would send this candle- stick to her for a Avedding gift, and to her surprise the General's daughter sent her the candlestick after her marriage. Another remarkable citizen was Mr. Henry Davis, father of Mr. Harry Davis, at Still Pond, a former History of Kent County, Maryland 2:^»1 County Commissioner. Tliis vcncral)lo man was !)7 years of age and retained eyery fa cully iiniiiii>airod. It was no uncommon thing for ;Mr. Day is to "take a little outing" of four miles on foot ''for his health." One of the most remarkable women living in Kent County today is Mrs. Carolene Hanson, the widow MRS, CAROLENE HYNSON'S RINGGOLD FARM HOUSE— 1780- OCCUPIED BY J. B. JACQUETTE, IN PINEY NECK. of Richard Hynson. She is in her ninety-eightli year, and has a most retentiye memoi'v and keeps in close touch with her yaried farm and business in- terests. She conyerses interesting!}' of events which occurred before the memory of the average citi/.en began. She lives on Water street, in the old Hyn- son homestead. As an instance of her business abil- ity, although 97 years of age, she planned and con- tracted for the erection of the elegant home now 232 History of Kent County, Maryland occupied b}^ her son's widow and cliildren. Tliis home lies opposite Mrs. Hynson's residence. Possibly the oldest colored person living in Kent was Sarah Wilson, who, according to authentic rec- ords, was 105 years of age. She died near Melitota on January 24, 1893, and was buried near Green Point. The late K. T. Turner says that Clara Waters, who died near Still Pond on June 8, 1885, was 101 years old. Miss Caroline Thompson, a most interesting resident of Chestertown, died here on July 11, 1885, aged 99 years 4 months. Kent^s Silver Mine. In or about the 3 ear 1813 valuable and pure silver was found near Galena. Mrs. M. H. Xickle of Bal- timore says: ''Sufficient quantities were taken out to be carried to Philadelphia and manufactured into knee buckles, spoons, casters, and other such arti- cles." The then open mine or valuable deposit was closed, as it was owned by very ignorant white and colored people and they were advised to close it, as it was about the time the British came to George- town, a place onh^ two miles distant. They were told that if the English knew of this mine they would claim it. They never made any more effort to open it and the war and natural excitement which succeeded the war prevented others from taking hold of it, who otherwise would have done so. Two or three years ago some specimens on this tract were picked up and taken to Prof. W. Leslie Rumsell, analytical chemist, and examined by him. They History of Kent County, Maryland 2:53 proved to be horn silver, ver}- pure. Tlie present owner says she is too poor to have it properly mined. In November, 1878, local option was adopted in Kent County by a vote of 1,984 for prohibition to 1,391: against, giving a majority of 590. Auotlier vote was taken later upon petition of the litpior advo- OLD BUNGY SCHOOLHOUSE ON BUNGY HILL. WHERE PROF. CLARK TAYLOR taught, NOW A KITCHEN, IN PINEY NECK. cates, but the prohibitionists won l)y over a thou- sand majority, since which time tliere has been nu agitation for another test. A Great Prize Fight. Wednesday, February 7, 1819, Rock Toint, mouth of Still Pond Creek, was the scene of a gi-eat na- tional prize fight. The weather was intens(dy coUl 234 History of Kent County, Maryland and the fight was the talk of society refined and un- refined for months beforehand. The participants were Tom Hver, who stood 6 feet 2^ inches and weighed 185 pounds, and Yankee Sullivan, 5 feet KENNEDYVILLE high school— 1915. 1014 and an avoirdupois of 155 pounds. The stake was 110,000. The daily papers contained lengthy accounts of the fight. The principals, with their backers, were chased hither and thither about the Chesapeake Bay in order to prevent the fight. Fi- nally they landed at Kock Point and pulled off the fight. Hyer on the sixteenth round caught Sulli- van's head under his right arm and punished him History of Kent County, Maryland 2:>5 until he was satisfied, when he was forcibly taken from the ring b}' his friends, liver chiiniing tlie victory. "Crow Hill." About equal distance between Black's Station and Chesterville is a settlement called ''Crow Hill." It at the chambers house, on water street. 236 History of Kent County, Maryland was given this name man}' years ago because of the fact that all the crows within a radius of fifty miles assembled there every day at dusk to spend the long, cold nights of the winter. It is a barren spot, save for the scattered trees which serve as a roosting place for the birds. On a cold winter day its ap- pearance is the very extreme of desolation and dis- comfort, and one naturallv wonders wliv our friends of the sombre raiment did not select a more shel- tered spot. Here they have been gathering, however, thousands upon thousands, from time immemorial. Just now the place is uninhabited, because in the early spring the crows i^air off and take to the woods, where they build large, bulky nests of sticks, and lay greenish eggs heavih^ spotted with dark colors. Negro Superstitions. For weird mystery and a something that is past finding out it is the proneness of many Kent negroes to superstition. While the supernatural plays a prominent part in all that he does or thinks, this is peculiarly the case as regards the weather. For in- stance, if rabbits in the fall show a tendency to bear to the left when tliev are routed from their beds bv the huntsman or his dog, the winter is certain to be ''perishing cold." If, on the contrary, he turns to the right, a mild winter must result. For the winter, 1899, the fall maneuvers of the Kent County cottontails indicated "an awful winter, sir, fur, please de Lawd, dey turned almos' clean around to de lef .' " History of Kent C(hxtv. >rAijvi..\ .\i> i':;7 Then, too, those tiiiie-lioiiored weatlier forecasters, the immaciihite little imiskrats, instead of huildin.r the walls of tlieir ''Xoali's ark of the marshes" lii<'h and thick — forwarned, as it were, by some unknown poAver of a desperatel.y cold winter, an old "ratter" " llltfl ^lm^£Aak '•JKUBJlfeJ^SP' HOUSE BUILT IN 1687 ON "DUNCAN'S FOLLY." NEAR LYNCH. OWNED BY J. W. CHAPMAN AND OCCUPIED BY S. J. LEE. states that the}" burrowed into the higli river banks, far above the reach of tides and ice. Corn-husks Ave^-e thick, hornets' nest close to the ground, cliest- nuts abundant, the bark of trees r(>u<ih and lieavy, and still a winter of plienomenally liigh lenipera- tures prevailed. The negro mind, in a vast numl)er of instances, clings to the superstitions of centuries l)ack. In the pockets of many of them may be found two moles' feet, neatl}" tied together, or a round, wliite stone, 238 History of Kent County, Maryland taken from some abandoned fish-hawk's nest, known as the ''liick stone." A dried eelskin is considered a prevention against cramp, and a leather string around a child's neck will drive back the whooping cough. Of course, the foot of a graveyard rabbit means unfailing "good luck." . ._ the palmer house on high street, chestertown, occupied by MRS. ARAMINTA BURKE— 201 YEARS OLD. One of the most widely-knoAvn and successful fishermen never thinks of setting a net, or placing a trap on the marsh, without adorning them with a bunch of rags or a little bag possessing some mysterious power to woo the coveted game. Even the eel trap on the muddy flats is given this little bag as a talisman of good luck. What these bags contain, no one but the weather-beaten old trapper History of Kent County, Maryland 230 knows, but his faith is like that of a little child, as interesting and unfailing. The weird dreams of the negro mind in the realms of superstition would fill columns and these dreams mark a most interesting phase of negro character. But there is now a tendency, even on the part of the colored people, to repudiate their former blind faith in ghosts and ghostly things, but in many casc^ this is only a make-believe, for while the old fellow savs, in faltering tones, that he used to believe in spirits, he has ''kind a lost faith,-' his pocket may then be stored with moles' feet, luckstones and amulets of many kinds. Many farmers are firm believers in the effect of the moon, and never fail to consult their almanacs as to the moon in planting corn or pota- toes, as well as in butchering their porkers. JUDGES SECOND JUDICIAL CIRCUIT Constitution of 1776. James" T ilghman, Queen Annes County — 1791. Chief Judge— died 1809. Richard Tilghman Earle, Queen Annes County. Chief Judge — vice Judge Tilghman — 1809. Edward Worrell, Kent County. Associate Judge — 1806. ' Lemuel Purnell, Talbot County. Associate Judge — 1806. Robert Wright, Kent County. Associate Judge, 1822— vice Judge Worrell, deceased. Philemon B. Hopper, Queen Annes County. Associate Judge, 1826 — vice Judge Wright, deceased. John B. Eccleston, Kent County. Associate Judge, 1832— vice Judge Purnell, deceased. Ezekiel F. Chambers, Kent County. Associate Judge, 1824 — vice Judge Earle, resigned. COXSTITUTIOX OF 1851. Judge Eccleston, Associate Judge, Court of Appeals. Judge P. B. Hopper, Circuit, Kent, Queen Annes, Caroline and Talbot Counties. Judge R. B. Carmichael, 1858— vice Judge Hopper, Judge Jas. B. Ricaud, March 1, 1864— vice Judge Car- michael, resigned. 240 History of Kent County, Mauyland Constitution of 1864. Second Judicial Circuit — Kent and Queen Annes. Judge John M. Robinson. Constitution of 1869. Judge John M. Robinson, Chief Judge. Judge Joseph A. Wickes, Associate Judge. Judge Frederick Stump, Associate Judge. Judge Geo. M. Russum, Chief Judge, January 14, 1896 — vice Judge Robinson, deceased. Judge James A. Pearce, Cliief Judge, December 4, 1897 — elected November, 1897. Judge Wm. R. Martin, Associate Judge, December 4, 1897. Judge Edwin H. Brov^n, Associate Judge, October 4, 19U1 — vice Judge Stump, deceased. Judge Wm. H, Adkins, Associate Judge, September 22, 1906 — vice Judge Martin, deceased. Judge Austin L. Crothers, Associate Judge, March 29, 1906 — vice Judge Brown, deceased. Judge P. B. Hopper, Associate Judge, July 31, 1907 — vice Judge Crothers, resigned. Judge Albert Constable, Chief Judge — elected November, 1912. OLD PUBLIC SCHOOL AT KENNEDYVILLE. History of Kext Coisty, ^rAuvi.wi. •_» 1 1 CHAPTER XXX IV. TJiG Old Court House— To Kcntlmid's Green Gardens. THE OLD COURT HOUSE. By Percy G. Skiuvex. The administration of the affairs of a county re- quires a buikling in which tlie judicial body of the S^^g^^fliiUniiM i:H!l!!iii;|ijii;ii!i'i!fiiiiJi|| THE OLD COURTHOUSE— BUILT 16'JS. county can hold its sessions. In nddition to this requirement there should be a i)lace in tlic hiiih]in«; for filing the records of these meetings. Provision must be made for the meeting of the Orphans' Court and the filing of papers pertaining to the work of this Court — wills, inventories of estates and admin- 242 History of Kent County, Maryland istration accounts. Further provision must be made for the meeting of the County Commisioners, which is the administrative body handling the financial affairs of the county. In the same building are kept the records of all transactions pertaining to the transfer and mortgaging of lands within the limits of the county. These records are in the care of the officer known as the Clerk of the County Court. Such are the requirements of a building designed to take care of the administrative affairs of that division of a state known as a "county." When Kent was made a county of the Province of Maryland in 1642, the Governor appointed the Commissioners of Justice. Giles Brent was made Chief Judge in all matters civil and criminal. The official document reads as follows: "To Mr. Secretary, These are to will and require you to draw a commis- sion to Mr. Giles Brent to be Commander of the Isle of Kent; and for Mr. William Luddington and Mr. Richard Thomson to be joined with him in Commission. Leonard Calvebt, Govr." August 2nd, 1642. Prior to that time the Isle of Kent had been a "hundred^' of St. Mary's and Capt. John Langford was the sheriff, he having been appointed in Feb- ruary, 1637. He was reappointed in 1642 and the Isle of Kent now became a county with the neces- sary officers to govern it as such. There arose the question of a place for the Jus- tices to meet to hold Court. As the center of the population of the new county was on the lower end of the present Kent Island, it was decided in 1639 that Court should be held at the old Kent Fort. History of Kent County, Maryland 243 That place soon gave way to one more convenient on Broad Creek. It, too, soon fell into disuse and the sittings of the Court were held at the houses "ELLENDALE," ON CHESAPEAKE BAY, OWNED BY LOUIS E. SMITH. of some one of the prominent colonists whose dwell- ing was large enough to provide for the accommo- dation of the Justices. For that accommodation and use of the house the host was paid in tobacco. In 1671 Charles Calvert, then Governor of the ^Trovince," appointed the Justices for Kent County as follows: Thomas South, Joseph A^'ickes, James Ringgold, John Hinson, Henry Hozier, Arthur Wright, John Wright, Tobias Wells and William 244 History of Kent County, Maryland Lawrence. On the back of the commission was written by the Governor : "I do hereby Order that the place for holding your County Court be in some part of the Eastern Neck and not upon the Island (meaning Eastern Neck Island) as formerly. Given under my hand the 2nd day of July, 1674. Charles Calvert, Govr.'' For several years prior to this order the Court had been held on Eastern Neck Island at the home of one of the Justices, Mr. Joseph Wickes. His plantation was known as ''Wickclitfe," and is today one of the finest estates in Marvland. At that time, 1674, the Provincial Assembly sit- ting at St. Mary's passed an act providing for the erection of court houses in each of the counties, and in 1679 the Commissioners used a Court House which the}' had built on the land of James Kinggold at the town of New Yarmouth on Gray's Inn Creek. In 1680 James Ringgold deeded the lot of land (about half an acre) on which the Court House stood to Charles Calvert, then the third Lord Balti- more. There was also a jail standing on the lot and it, too, had been built by the County Justices. The Court for Kent Countv was held in the Court House at New Yarmouth for sixteen years, but the increasing population of the county made it im- perative to hold court in a more convenient place. The Commissioners Avere authorized b}' the Assem- bly to buy a piece of land on the Chester River at the present location of Chestertown. Court was held in 1696 at the house of Mr. Isaac Caulk and he received 1,020 pounds of tobacco "for expenses" in entertaining the Justices. History of Kent Coimi', Mahvlami 245 At the meeting of the Justices on Uetolxir 30, 1696, to levy tobacco to \n\y the current expenses of the county and to meet the bills authorized at the previous Court, 2,000 pounds of tobacco was placed in the sheriff's hands to pay for the land on which "TRUMPINGTON," DOWN THE COUNTY, THE HOME OF MRS. JULIA A. RINGGOLD. to build the Court House. The entry in the old book, known as the Court Proceedings, now in ilic Court House at Chestertown, says : "* * * (he tobacco to remain in the Sheriff his custodie until the right owner approved that can give a sufticient and good title to the county for the same or lill the Justices of this county shall otherwise order the said tobacco." There evidently was some defect in the title to the hind. Simon Wilmer, then surveyor for the county, was paid 200 pounds of tobacco "for laying out the land for the Court House and recording the same." 246 History of Kent County, Maryland A contract was made aa itli John Sutton, AA'itli Col. Peter Sayer as his bond, for building the Court House, and at this session of the Court (October 30, 1096) 6,000 pounds of tobacco AAas appropriated to COURTHOUSE, CHESTERTOWN, MD. pay for the house AN'hen completed — the sheriff to keep the tobacco in his hands until authorized to pay it to the builder. As the next Court for making the Ica^a' A\'as held at the house of Mr. Isaac Caulk on the 8th of Novem- ber, 1697, it is evident that the Court House an as not then finished. At that session of the Court Morgan BroA\^n Avas paid 700 pounds of tobacco to build a chimney on the Court House, and the "Plasterer" History of Kent County, Maryland 2t7 1,000 pounds of tobacco iur plas(ciiii«» ilic ('(.ml H^ouse. To Simon Wilmer's negro Janios 1!)0 pounds 01 tobacco was paid ''for hairs nsod in ]»laslcriii<; ilic Court House/' and to Godfrey Tener J<5 jionnds of tobacco ''for more nails for Ihe i)lasterer.'' Tlierc WM. JANVIER'S HOME NEAR TURNER'S CREEK— ONE OF THE OLD LANDMARKS. were also appropriated 400 pounds of tobacco to be paid to Mr. William Bladen "for drawino- the IJill preferred to the House of Assembly for the Court House land." The land on which the Court House was built was like all other lands in the province, subject to a yearly quit rent to be paid into the treasury of the Lords Baltimore and in the Debt P>ook of the Prov- ince for the year 1757 the following entry appears: "Kent County to part of 'Stepney,' Court House 248 History of Kent County, Maryland land, 2 acres, Eent due at Lady's Day (March 25th, 1757) % pence." As the rent was i^ayable at the two most principal feasts of the year — the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, March 25th, and the Feast of St. Michael the Arch- THE JUDGE CHAMBERS HOUSE. ON CHESTER RIVER. OWNED BY W. W. HUBBARD, COLONIAL AND BEAUTIFUI^PROF. MARK CREASY'S NEW HOME ON HIGH STREET. angel, September 29tli — the total rent for the year ]Daid by Kent Countj^ was one pence! This interesting record shows that the land on which the Court House was built and in fact the whole of Chestertown was laid out was part of a grant of land known as "Stepney" and a deed for 100 acres from Rebecca Wilmer recorded in the land records for Kent County, under date of 23d of Sep- tember, 1690, further confirms the fact. History of Kent Coixtv, ^rAuvr.Axn 210 ^^^^j From Md.'s Colonial Eastern Shore. COMEGYS HOUSE, CRUMPTON, KENT, BUILT ABOUT 1708. Commanding a splendid view of the upper Chester River and the surround- ing counti-y, this rai-e example of Dutch architecture that has been handed down to the present generation is now the home of Dr. F. N. Sheiijjard. It is one of two such houses now standing in this State. The other is in Fi-ed- erick County. Each of the houses was built by the son of an emigrant from Holland. William Comegys, who built this house, was the second son of Cornelius Comegys, who emigrated to Virginia from Holland and who came to Maryland from Virginia about 1666. The house is built of old-style English brick, and is an addition to an old log house still in good repair which first served to shelter William Comegys and his family when he took up the land on which it stands. At the time (1708?) William Comegys built this house there was a ferry at that part of the Chester River now called Ci-umpton, then known as McAllister's Ferry. On the Queen Anne side of the river William Cinjjnp took up a large tract of land, and it was for him that the village was called Crumpton. For years there had been a well-established route of travel from William- stadt (now Oxford), Talbot County, to Philadelphia and the Northern settle- ments. This route led past the o!d Wye Church in Talbot to Crumpton, over the Chester into Kent ; across that county to Georgetown and Fredericktown. 250 History of Kent County, Maryland As will be seen by the accompanying picture of the old building a very substantial addition was made to it, but just when this occurred I have not been able to determine. The search of the proceed- ings of the Court should show the date it was built and the cost. The old Court House was the scene of manv notable events that occurred through the years from its completion in 1698 down to the time when the increased population of Kent County demanded its removal to make room for a larger building. It was found totally inadequate to meet the requirements of the Court in the years just preceding the Civil War and in 1860, that old Colonial relic was torn down to make room for the building now standing. TO KENTLANDS GREEN GARDEN. By Folger McKixsey. Over the bay on the B. S. Ford, Over the bay to the garden of the Lord Planted in Kentland with beauty and gleam Of meadows and orchards in mirrors of dream — Rock Hall and Queenstown and Bogles and Cliffs, And then the green wheat, and the inbetween whiffs Of locust and honey — my heart is a sailor. Over the bay with my friend, Captain Taylor. Ho! her cut-water Away on the Ford To Kentland's green garden, The dream of the Lord! Quaker Neck landing as twilight shuts down: Rolph's and then the home stretch to sweet ChestertowD; High street just dabbling its feet in the river And rising far off to the sky, where the Giver Of good and all goodness set here with his hand The cream of all rivers; the rose of land. To glimpse through blue vistas of beauty and bloom Till hearts sink no longer in shadow and gloom. All aboard, shipmates! The Chester's loved stream, Like a ribbon of rose, Binds the heart in its dream. Her nose tickles Deep Point and rippling we go By Ashland and Wilmers, where willows bend low. And catbirds are calling, and over the w^ay They're frying fresh herring from loved Lankford Bay; And Bookers is dreaming and yonder they wait To take us to supper at Chestertown's gate, Where the bridge over Chester walks many a span To smile and shake hands with its neighbor. Queen Anne. Here's the last bay buoy. The Ford has steamed over Unto the green wheatlands Of Kent and her clover! Ah, but my heart, how it sings like a sailor, Over the bay with my friend. Captain Taylor! The shy lights of twilight just quivering down In love light and dove twilight o'er fair Chestertown — And there, the old mansions, where fancy still sees Before the fair daughters, till ear speaks to eye Of field jumps and ditches, with hounds in full cry. Water street, dreaming; Ah, w^ake not the spell Of the loved days of Kent That the Lord loves so well! .■^ auj,\.^\.'.-.H-i^^'^-f.